Delaware County IN finds savings in snow removal
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - As repeated arctic blasts move through the Midwest and deplete salt supplies, Delaware County road crews are using local material, sand mixed to calcium chloride, to keep roads clear.
That brown material seen on county intersections from Yorktown to Daleville and Eaton to Albany is made at the old McIntire Concrete plant on Ind. 67 south.
Chris McCammon, county highway superintendent, said the material lasts longer and works better in sub-zero temperatures and windy conditions in rural areas.
And the cost is about half of salt that is about $63 a ton, according to suppliers like Cargill and Morton. The sand laced with calcium chloride is closer to $38 and can be picked up al the plant locally.
McCammon said the highway department still has revenue to support extra snow removal operations and could find savings using the sand material.
Indiana has among the highest gasoline sales taxes in the country and that revenue funds local street and highway operations.
McCammon said the county also helps smaller towns with their snow removal needs. And Muncie recently sold salt to Gaston to keep streets clear there.
Muncie street crews use salt and the supply is low, given problems with shipping by Cargill.
Duke Campbell, city street commissioner, said the salt supplier had problems with its scales at the Cincinnati docks and there had been limited supplies since the polar vortex last week.
The city used about half of its 700 ton supply during last week's storm and Campbell anticipated salt deliveries would resume soon.
Yorktown Manager Pete Olson reported that half its snow plow fleet was down for repairs after the vortex, and indicated to the town council that trucks would be out for next round of storms.
The National Weather Service indicated 2014 is the fourth highest snowfall in history with 56 left on the calendar for winter.
Another arctic blast is predicted on Thursday with cold temperatures and high winds.