Mild winters creating impact on local street departments

As temperatures climb above freezing the West Lafayette Street Department is preparing to order supplies for next season.

Posted: Feb 22, 2021 10:13 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- As temperatures climb above freezing the West Lafayette Street Department is preparing to order supplies for next season. Winter weather this season has been a moving target. At least that's how West Lafayette Street Commissioner Ben Anderson describes it.

"We had this barn completely full at the beginning of this 2020-2021 season," said Anderson. 

Anderson said each year the department orders more than 2,000 tons of salt. In the past 2 years, they've cut that down, ordering only 800 tons.

"Near the end of March we start making our requests for bids for 2021-2022 season," said Anderson. 

However, because the area has had a relatively mild winter season two years in a row Anderson had reservations on ordering more salt. 

"We can salt a few French fries with that," said Anderosn. 

Anderson said ordering salt can be tricky financially.

"Salt currently is around 90 dollars a ton, right? So if you got 90 dollars a ton and you got 2,000 tons in here or 2400 tons in here, you're looking at a quarter of a million dollars."

The concern for Anderson was space. With no snow, salt could pile high enough for the department to look else where for storage but thankfully-

"The last three weeks have been able to take away to where we are going to at least be able to get our minimal order in the barn," said Anderson. 

Anderson said due to the recent snow events the department used more than 900 tons of salt.

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Mild Conditions Continue Wednesday
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