Clark County’s townships could be out of salt after battling this weekend’s expected snow.
Springfield Twp. has already used 700 tons of salt— nearly the same amount used all of last winter— and has less than 80 tons left. That’s enough salt to cover the township’s 75 road miles for the few inches of snowfall expected this weekend, but not much else, said John Hughel, Springfield Twp. roads superintendent.
“I’ve got my trucks loaded and I’ll be good with a round and a half if I salt everything. I don’t know what I’ll do after that,” he said.
Hughel said he’s received only 47 tons from his last 200-ton order from Cargill in Cleveland. Like most municipalities in Ohio, he’s stuck in the backlog.
“This whole year has been a challenge for everyone involved,” he said.
German Twp., along with Pleasant, Harmony, Green and Madison townships, gets its salt from the Clark County Engineer’s Office. Unlike other locations, German Twp. boasts its own salt barn, which was bursting with 600 tons of salt at the beginning of this winter. However, county crews spent Friday morning mixing the nearly 80 tons of salt left inside with grit to stretch out the supply.
“We’re trying to save the salt as much as we can. We are only putting the salt on the hills, the curves and the intersections,” said Charles Metzger, a German Twp. trustee.
Their supply is dependent on how much salt the Clark County Engineer’s Office receives in the coming weeks. Of the 1,200 tons ordered three weeks ago, engineer Johnathan Burr said he’s only received about 500 tons. He can stretch that out by adding mixed-grit sand, doubling how far it will go while adding traction to roadways. Another 700 tons has already been mixed and is ready for the next snow.
Townships use about 5 percent of the county’s supply each year, and Burr said he bills them for it at the end of the season. He said there’s enough to go around now, but he’s banking on getting the rest of his order soon.
“I’m not going to cut them off with usage as long as they cut back,” he said. “If they come in and try to take 20 truckloads, I’ll cut them off.”
It’s one of the worst winters Clark County resident Paula Stitzel can remember since the blizzard in 1978. But she said she thinks road crews have been handling the mess well.
“I think we will survive. It’s winter. We’ll make it through,” she said.