First snow storm reveals looming salt shortage

First snow storm reveals looming salt shortage

CLEVES, OH (FOX19) - It is the currency of winter.

The first snow of the season has barely settled and already salt is being borrowed and bartered between the smallest of Tri-State villages. Officials are saying high demand plus rising prices are creating a perfect storm for yet another salt shortage.

The day started around 2 a.m. for Doug Moore plowing and clearing school property in the Village of Cleves and in this small district, salt to melt the snow is precious.

"Two years ago, we used approximately 13 tons of salt. The year before that was 9 tons of salt and this past year it was 57 tons of salt," said Moore.

Cleves wasn't the only town hit. The whole Tri-State felt the wrath of the 2nd snowiest winter on record. The National Weather Service says last winter Cincinnati saw 62 days with snow on the ground totally 47.5 inches in all. That's double the area average of 23.6 inches.

"To start out like this, it kind of gets you a little worried," said Harold Duncan, Street Commissioner for the Village of Cleves.

Duncan says the cost of salt per ton has doubled since last winter from around $60 to an estimated $130. While big cities with big budgets like Cincinnati can afford the increase, Duncan says villages like his simply cannot.

"I think this salt situation, if we go over and beyond what we are thinking we have to have, it's going to really hurt them. Really hurt them," said Duncan.

The village has changed their salt policy only using it on hills and dangerous roadways in order to conserve it. For now, they will do what they can with fingers crossed last winter doesn't repeat itself.

"I hope not. We don't want that again that's for sure," said Moore.

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