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Snowy season hits salt supply

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Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 12:41 a.m.

Mt. Pleasant Township supervisors said the snowstorms this year have taken a toll on the municipal salt supply.

Chairman Jack Rutkowski said $32,000 of the $117,683.64 in bills paid from the General Fund during this week's board meeting was for salt.

“We are using quite a bit and are in the same boat as all of the other municipalities in the area. We've already had double the amount of snow we had this time last year. Last year, we had 15 inches, and we have already had 38 inches,” Rutkowski said.

Supervisor Frank Puskar said that with the extreme cold that is being called for in the next few days, crews will be unable to use salt.

“With extreme cold below 15 degrees, salt doesn't work, and all we can do is put down ash and anti-skid materials,” Puskar said.

Rutkowski said road crews have been working hard to keep the roads in good shape.

“We've had a lot of compliments because of the way the guys are doing the roads,” he said.

Rutkowski issued a word of caution because of several incidents in which road crews have nearly been struck by vehicles traveling on roads while they were being treated.

“Please drive carefully and be aware of all the guys out there plowing,” he said.

Supervisors entered into a landowner agreement with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy on the Sewickley Creek Dirt and Gravel Road BMP, on Misty Meadow Road.

Puskar said part of the road, which runs between Polecat Road and Slope Hill Road, is partially dirt and gravel and has severe drainage problems. By entering into the agreement with the conservancy, the municipality will receive grant money to improve the road by installing crossover drains and resurfacing the road with a rock dust, similar to what is on bike trails, which will be 8 to 10 inches deep.

“This will be no expense to our taxpayers,” Puskar said. “If we have a fire down there, we will now have better access for our first responders.”

The next recycling date for the township is Feb. 6.

Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer.

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