Newport battles with salt supply

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - Like many communities battling old man winter across the tri-state, Newport, Ky. is finding its salt supply running short.

Workers at Newport's Public Works garage mix tons of road salt with several gallons of beet juice. Public Service Director Doug Roell says it is a combination that makes this precious commodity a whole lot more effective.

"We're bringing the salt in," says Roell. "We're actually mixing it with beet juice and sand. Beet juice will actually lower the effective working temperature of the salt. It keeps the snow from compacting on the ground and the sand just adds a little traction element to it."

The salt stored inside Newport's public works garage is all the city has on hand and Roell says getting re-supplied with salt is proving to be tough.

"Our vendor is unable to get salt right now," adds Roell. "There's a shortage and he's completely sold out."

Newport has managed to borrow salt from other cities and Roell says they should have enough to get them through the next snow event.

Meanwhile, some Newport residents generally give the city's plowing and salting operations thumbs-up.

"You know I see the trucks out. I think they're doing the best they can," says Al Watts,

However, Terry Runion says he gives road crews a mixed review.

"I think they've done a decent job, you know," says Runion. "It could be better. There are a lot of side streets especially that's been really slick especially when you get up to the stop sign."

"They're doing well like they get the main streets done and stuff like that which is good, but like my home street is on Oak Street and that's a disaster area," explains Nancy Sherlock

The City of Newport is being very frugal with the salt it does have on hand because one good snow event of 5 inches or more could wipe out the city's entire salt supply.

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