By Will E Sanders
PIQUA — Halfway through a particularly blustery and snowy winter, city officials said the public works department has used 1,000 tons of salt so far this winter and say a new method of clearing roadways has not only been successful, but also cutting down on total salt usage.
Piqua City Manager Gary Huff said the city usually budgets approximately 2,000 tons of salt each year, half of which has been used so far this season.
Combined with 200 tons of salt leftover from last winter, the city has a combined 1,200 tons of salt left.
Huff commended the city’s public works department for their diligent work so far, saying crews work around the clock in shifts during, or in preparation of, inclement weather, which has been in abundance this winter.
“One of the things that has helped us this year is they have been experimenting with liquid mixtures of chemicals to be able to melt the snow and to keep it from bonding in these really cold temperatures,” Huff said.
That mixture that the city’s public works department has been using is a combination of brine and calcium chloride.
“I’ve followed them around this week and watched them and it almost melts the snow on contact,” the city manager said, calling the mixture “remarkably successful,” especially when the temperature is really low. “Our streets have been clear most of the time.”
The city will continue improving in the way it removes snow from city streets with the ultimate goal being to “provide the best snow removal that we can,” Huff added.
As it stands right now Huff said the city is fine with the salt supply, but said if more is needed the city will purchase some from their vendor.
“If we think we’re going to need more we’ll put an order in as quick as possible so we’re not short-handed,” Huff said.
Meanwhile at the Miami County Engineer’s Office, county plows and snow crews have used 1,900 tons of salt so far this season and has 1,300 tons of salt and 800 tons of grit mix left.
The county has placed an order on an additional 1,000 tons of salt, but it wasn’t clear when that order would be filled.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.