Fayette County

Lexington to refill its salt pile

A city truck dumped its unused salt at the end of the day Wednesday. City officials said that because snows arrived in the Lexington area in early December rather than January, the season's winter weather has stretched four weeks beyond the usual 10, leading to early depletion of road salt.
A city truck dumped its unused salt at the end of the day Wednesday. City officials said that because snows arrived in the Lexington area in early December rather than January, the season's winter weather has stretched four weeks beyond the usual 10, leading to early depletion of road salt.

Almost 4,000 tons of fresh rock salt is expected to arrive Thursday to replenish the city's dwindling supply.

Sam Williams, director of the streets, roads and forestry division, said Wednesday that about one-third of the city's salt supply for the winter season was left, but he explained that "a typical winter normally doesn't generate snow until January, giving us about 10 weeks of bad weather."

With snows beginning the first week of December, this season's winter has been extended by at least four weeks, he said.

"Salt is a fairly expensive item," said Williams, and the city government budgets $800,000 annually for the 12,000 tons of salt it typically requires. That averages, he said, about one ton per week in a typical winter.

The price tag this year for salt might run from $1.1 million to $1.2 million.

Susan Straub, the city's spokeswoman, said officials are not sure where the money is coming from yet but added this is not something Lexington can live without. The money will be found, she said.

Note: The first paragraph of the story has been corrected to read 4,000 tons.

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