Depleted salt supplies tax communities around South Hills
Being conservative where rock salt is concerned has helped some South Hills communities this winter.
Borough public works Supervisor Denny Kunkel has been mindful of the numbers.
“This winter has depleted everyone's supply,” he said.
After public works crews used 75 tons of salt following the Feb. 17 snowfall, Kunkel estimated there about 300 tons remaining in the community's stockpile. About 15 inches of snow this month means that officials have to be even more mindful of how much salt they're using, as communities across Western Pennsylvania deal with sometimes delayed shipments of salt when they need supplies the most.
Frozen rivers earlier this month prevented barges traveling from West Elizabeth, Ohio and Louisiana from making deliveries, Kunkel said. As of Feb. 17, he was still waiting for an order placed two weeks earlier.
“Salt can also come by rail car, but with barges, there are greater quantities, better prices, and it's easier to offload,” he said.
Pleasant Hills can order salt at $57.52 per ton through the South Hills Council of Governments, a group of community leaders who work together on common issues.
A conservative approach to keeping the borough's 30 miles of roads clear is to try to conserve salt, officials said. Jefferson Hills Public Works director Tom Lovell told his crews to plow first, then salt.
And if roads are clear enough after the plowing, flat stretches won't get much salt at all.
In 2013, $170,000 was budgeted and spent to get drivers through the winter, maintaining 43 miles of streets. This year, $175,000 was set aside.
In mid-February, Lovell's department had 300 tons left — enough, he said, to get the borough through one big storm or two small ones.
“We're doing everything we can,” Lovell said. “It's not for lack of trying, but lack of materials.”
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Brentwood officials approve new HVAC equipment for building
- Brentwood to offer ALICE training to community
- Thomas Jefferson problem solvers ready for international event
- Brentwood Borough birthday event a big hit with students
- Brentwood EMS has new deal with borough for emergency services
- Tax increase part of West Jefferson Hills budget
- Website details Baldwin Borough spending
- Registration deadline nears for Jefferson Hills summer recreation program
- Simulator takes Baldwin-Whitehall students on a learning adventure
- Ferris resigns from Baldwin Council