Road salt demand increases cost, reduces supply - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Road salt demand increases cost, reduces supply

It could be a slippery winter for motorists on both sides of the river.  The demand for road salt has increased since last year, and so has the price.

That's making it difficult for some cities in Kentuckiana to get enough salt to cover the road.  Brian Campbell, the Oldham County Road Superintendent, says, "I got approximately 14 hundred tons on-site."

Campbell says Oldham County's salt pile is not enough to treat the 285 miles of road he's responsible for clearing this winter:  "We're being told by suppliers that they don't have supplies to supply us with salt."

Since July, Oldham County has received two rejection letters from suppliers who say the demand has simply been too high.  Campbell says, "They claim the mines haven't been able to keep up."

And that's not all.  Campbell explains, "Last year we had salt delivered for $44.31 a ton, delivered to the shop."

This year the price has gone up:  "The only opportunity I've had so far," Campbell says, "where anybody would say they would sell us salt was at a $125 dollars a ton, and we'd have to pick it up."

Oldham County isn't the only place having trouble getting salt this year -- the northeast, Illinois, and Ohio are also having problems.

But that's not the case in Metro Louisville.  Kerri Richardson is a spokesperson with Mayor Jerry Abramson's office:  "We want to make sure that we are ready for the snow once it starts coming."  She says Louisville is in good shape and has a five-year contract with Cargil -- one of the same companies that turned Oldham County down this year.

Richardson says, "We have been on the phone with Cargil almost daily reminding them that we need to get our salt shipment in so that we can be fully stocked for the winter."

Meanwhile, Brian Campbell is still working the phones too, already looking ahead to next year:  "Just because I don't want to be in this situation next year."

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