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Government & Politics

Northeast Ohio County Can't Catch A Break On Road Salt Cost

Salt Storage
Salt Awaiting Shipment (Port of Milwaukee)

In hopes of getting a better price for road salt, Columbiana County and its townships and communities banded together to seek single bids, directly from salt companies.  It didn’t work. 

Credit Columbiana County
Columbiana County Engineer Bert Dawson

Columbiana County Engineer Bert Dawson says his county is typically charged more per ton for salt through the state buying program than nearby counties, and he’s never gotten a good answer for why.  So, this year, he asked the county’s, villages and townships to join a unified effort to pursue a salt buy outside the state system.

The bids just came in, and he says though they appear to be even higher than through the state, it was worth a try.

“Since we were bidding 10,000 tons, at $65, that’s a $650,000 bill. If we could have saved 10 percent say, that would have been $65,000 or $70,000.

"Our money comes from license plates and gas tax.  So, basically we’re operating on the same money we had eight or 10 years ago, and back then we were paying $27 for salt.”

Up against a deadline for buying through the state, Dawson says he and his colleagues in Columbiana County are dropping the alternative plan.