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Homewood is Running Out of Salt

Village Manager Jim Marino says the remaining supply will go to priority areas.

A particularly harsh winter has put a much bigger dent in Homewood’s salt supply than anticipated.

Village Manager Jim Marino cautioned residents during Tuesday night’s village board meeting that the village will now be reserving their dwindling salt supply for priority areas, such as intersections and roads with inclines. Side streets will not be getting much attention, anymore.

“It’s not just us, it’s all municipalities,” Marino said. 

In addition to the heavy salt use, this winter has also been costly on the village in terms of overtime pay for public works employees—especially since much of the snow has occurred after 5 p.m. and on the weekends, according to Marino. 

A big difference from last year, when a mild winter saved Homewood “$280,000 in salt alone.”

SHUSSBAR January 29, 2014 at 10:01 AM
Yeah no more salt. Great news. It is perfectly fine to use it only in priority areas. Salt and chlorides are corrosive, they eat our cars, corrode body work and brake lines, contaminate roadside streams where we fish, and damage concrete bridges and parking garages. The heavy use of road salts can lead to damage to vegetation, to organisms in soil, to birds, and to other wildlife. Almost all chloride ions from road salts eventually find their way into waterways, whether by direct run-off into surface water or by moving through the soil and groundwater. In surface water, road salts can harm freshwater plants, fish, and other organisms that are not adapted to living in saline waters. I also think that the melted mess it creates is more slippery than pack snow. Packed snow slows down traffic on 183rd which is good considering the crazy speeders driving there. As an alternative, i suggest sand. Sand provides traction, does not harm the environment, and sweeps up easily. Brick sand is best because it is coarser and more granular than regular sand. Sand also has a relatively low albedo, which means it will absorb sunlight, helping to warm ice/snow and contribute to faster melting.
Michele Morgan Rosche January 29, 2014 at 10:04 AM
I don't see how there was much overtime since I rarely saw plows when it snowed on weekends. But plenty of salt was dumped when none was needed. Just my two cents. Plowing works just as good as salt.
Ben Rodenburg January 29, 2014 at 11:25 AM
Maybe next time we have a mild winter, we should stockpile salt, and not think that we "saved" $280,000. I'm sure all the money we "saved" last year is still in the coffer, right? No? We spent it frivolously? Awesome. Let me guess, the village board wants to pass an extra tax on residents for road salt, right?
Joe Rosenthal January 29, 2014 at 04:59 PM
Two words. Michael Bilandic.
Jason Brennan January 31, 2014 at 04:01 PM
This is unfortunate since people who are accustomed to rock salt have adjusted their driving habits in the snow accordingly. I'm concerned for the safety of my Wife, kids, & myself.

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