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Published: Wednesday, 9/3/2014 - Updated: 4 weeks ago

Sylvania Township seeks to buy road salt, but not at latest prices

Sylvania says it has enough supply for the city

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Greg Huffman, Sylvania Township public works manager, said the township is looking to buy more salt but at a reasonable rate. Greg Huffman, Sylvania Township public works manager, said the township is looking to buy more salt but at a reasonable rate.
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Sylvania Township officials, wary of high road salt prices, are in the hunt to buy enough supplies for the upcoming winter.

Sylvania officials, however, bought some in the summer and say they are set for winter.

Gregory Huffman, township public works manager, said it is waiting to see the outcome of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s search for lower-priced supplies before buying another 1,000 tons. He also looking at other salt vendors as well to replenish the township’s winter stock.

ODOT, seeking salt bids for itself and communities across the state, recently had a low quote of $134.43 per ton for delivery between November and April, or about three times last winter’s rate of $32 per ton.

Steve Faulkner, ODOT spokesman, said the price quotes were rejected and the state is again looking for cheaper supplies. ODOT keeps about 700,000 tons of salt in its statewide salt storage bins. Prices it seeks for counties statewide can vary, as 25 of the 63 counties participating in the recent purchase effort, including Lucas, had prices of more than $100.

The township has about 1,200 tons leftover and has a storage dome able to hold another 400 tons. In an average winter, the township uses from 2,000 to 2,400 tons.

“Last year we were on the higher end of that,” Mr. Huffman said.

The township clears 131 miles of roadway, primarily in residential districts, while Lucas County crews maintain main arterial roads and ODOT the state routes, such as Central Avenue.

Kevin Aller, Sylvania public service director, said the city ordered a batch of salt at 600 tons in the summer and planned to buy another 800 tons through the recent ODOT program but decided not to because price. So, it ended last winter with about 2,600 tons and now will start the upcoming winter with 3,200 tons, or same amount it had last year.

“We believe we will have enough salt on hand for this winter,” he said.

The city It maintains 80 miles of roads. Last winter, it used about 3,700 tons of salt, with about 400 tons lent out to other entities.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.



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