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Heavy snow, ice pushing salt reserves for some towns

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A heavier-than-usual amount of snow and ice this season is keeping salt allotments tight for a few municipalities around the area.

Alexandria Highway Superintendent Jeremy C. Durand told the Town Council on Wednesday night that the town’s salt use so far, about 1,800 tons, is coming close to the maximum available through its supplier. “Hopefully the weather out here is going to change,” he said Thursday.

The town contracted to buy 1,400 tons of salt, and its supplier allowed it to buy 700 more for a total of 2,100 tons.

The town Highway Department, which covers about 168 lane miles, ordered its final 300 tons of salt Wednesday, which was delivered Thursday.

“I think we’re going to be OK,” Mr. Durand said.

A few council members joked they may have to go to Walmart if the town oversteps its total allotment. If it does come near its limit, Mr. Durand said, he would have to talk with other municipalities to find ways to increase its supply.

In Henderson, Highway Superintendent Harold J. Nelson said the town will hit its 1,400-ton salt allotment for the season on its next 175-ton delivery, which is in transit. “That should last us, hopefully,” he said. The town covers about 150 lane miles between its roads and those of the county and state. Mr. Nelson said if the town’s supply dips, it may have to mix its supply with more sand, or change the level of coverage during each run for the town’s trucks.

The fierce snowfall in Adams has led the town Highway Department to go through about 1,000 tons of salt, almost as much as the 1,200 tons used for the past two winters combined.

“If it hasn’t been snowing, the wind’s been blowing,” Highway Superintendent Terry L. Babcock said. “It’s just been relentless.”

Mr. Babcock said he budgeted to have about 1,440 tons of salt for the season, just in case the town got a hard winter. Through careful monitoring, the town has about 400 tons left. “I would say I’ll probably need it,” Mr. Babcock said.

In Lewis County, salt levels varied among towns.

New Bremen Highway Superintendent Jonathan M. Bush reported no issues. “We’re fine, “ he said. “We purchased it early and mix it with sand. We’ll be fine.”

The Town of Croghan Highway Department indicated the same method. A delivery in the fall is in fine shape to last the remainder of the winter.

Town of Watson Highway Superintendent Robert D. Dosztan is not having the same experience. “It’s a tough year, “ he said. “We’re running out of energy, too.” The plan for the remainder of the winter? “We’ll stretch it the best we can,” Mr. Dosztan said.

Times staff writer Christina Scanlon contributed to this report.

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