On Friday, Gene Roberts advised me that we’re running low on salt for clearing roads so he’s putting his plow operators on a low salt diet. Gene has directed the crews to start rationing salt for use on the high risk areas only until he can get a new shipment delivered. We’ve ordered more salt but our supplier reports that due to the heavy snowfall this winter the salt mines haven’t been able to keep up with the demand so everyone’s salt orders are backlogged. Typically our salt orders are filled in 72 hours but right now the supplier will not commit to a date for our next shipment. It’s warm today but with the prospect of more snow next week Gene is taking prudent measures now so that we don’t run out. Hopefully the shipment will arrive early next week and if we’re lucky the weather will stay warm enough to avoid ice or snow altogether. Anybody know a good hurry up and bring the spring dance?
February 29, 2008 To: Dave Ruller, City Manager
From: Gene Roberts, Service Director
Jack Hogue. Central Maintenance Manager
RE: Road Salt
The Service Department’s Central Maintenance Division has been informed by its salt supplier that shipment will be delayed for the City’s Monday, February 25, 2008 order of 1,000 tons. Typically the City orders salt and receives the total order within 72-hours. Currently it is reported that we will receive shipment on Monday, March 3, 2007, with the caveat “if it is available”.
The problem reported is not with the shipper but at the salt mine. Previously it was reported about three weeks ago that private contracts were cancelled in favor of government contracts. From available information it is safe to say that the salt mine is not able to keep up with this winter’s salt demand.
Staff has reviewed the ten day forecast and assessed the availability of salt and has decided to implement our salt usage reduction plan which includes the following:
- Salt will be used at major intersections, school zones and on hills as currently occurs.
- Main routes will be plowed and salt will be applied intermittently which when tracked by vehicles will clear snow and ice from the paved surface but will increase the time it takes for pavement to be wet.
- Plowing will continue as normal without the application of salt on all secondary routes.
The following weather forecast is provided as used by staff in consideration of salt usage reduction:
|2/29/08 10-day||High /|
|Day||Date||Forecast||Low (°F)||Precip. %|
|Fri||2/29/2008||Snow to Wintry Mix||35°/24°||100%|
|Sat||3/1/2008||AM Snow Showers||27°/19°||50%|
|Thu||3/6/2008||Few Snow Showers||30°/22°||30%|
What creates major concern is the forecast in combination of the uncertainty of salt delivery. Given the ten day forecast staff feels that it would be better to start rationing before needed. In the event that the City experiences a major ice event prior to restocking we hopefully will have the reserve to maintain our main routes clear.
The following information is provided as an interim status report concerning salt usage and associated cost as of February 28, 2008:
|Salt Storage Capacity (w\piler)||3,500||$ 37.04|
|Salt Storage Capacity (w\loader)||2,500||$ 34.04|
|Salt on hand start 2007-2008 Season||3,500||$ 37.04||$ 129,640.00|
|Ordered 1/16/08 (shipped 1/17 & 1/18)||1,000||$ 34.04||$ 34,040.00|
|Ordered 2/11/08 (shipped 2/13, 2/14 & 2/15)||1,045||$ 34.04||$ 35,571.80|
|Ordered 2/25/08 (as of 2/29 waiting on shipment)||1,000||$ 34.04||$ 34,040.00|
|Salt in storage 8:00 am Fri. 2/29/08||1,000||$ 34.04||$ 34,040.00|
|Salt used as of 2/29/08 for 2007-2008 Winter||4,545||$ 165,211.80|
Staff will continue to monitor our road salt stock, availability of shipment and weather conditions and will issue notice when the salt usage reduction is lifted.