Salt prices up, winter weather could be bad

Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero Raleigh County Division of Highway’s foreman James Sampson looks over a pile of salt in a shed at the DOH location in Beckley.
Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero Raleigh County Division of Highway's foreman James Sampson looks over a pile of salt in a shed at the DOH location in Beckley.
Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero
Raleigh County Division of Highway’s foreman James Sampson looks over a pile of salt in a shed at the DOH location in Beckley.

BECKLEY, W.Va. — As state Department of Transportation officials look ahead to the coming winter, they’ve discovered they’re going to have to salt away more money for snow and ice removal.

Carrie Bly, spokesperson for the DOT, said salt prices for the area are up nearly 30 percent, from $69.25 per ton to $89.93.

Bly said some areas of the state will see even larger increases, as the average price is anywhere from $67 to $127 a ton. The state budgets $55 million annually for salt, which comes from different companies depending on location.

With everyone from The Farmers’ Almanac to Facebook memes and weather blogs predicting a bad winter to come, Bly said the forecasts really don’t make much difference. The DOT will be ready regardless of the forecast.

“We always are prepared,” Bly said. “We go in with the mentality that it’s going to be bad.”

She said most departments have already attached snow plows to trucks and even loaded some with salt in preparation. Local departments have also checked truck lights, fluids and first aid kits.

As a reminder, Bly said if the DOH is getting ready, the public should be getting ready, as well, checking tires, vehicle fluids and emergency kits.

“People need to be realistic,” she said. “Salt is only effective to certain temperatures.”

Also, she said the public staying off the roads when conditions are bad helps the DOH do its job better…

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