Fulton County facing steep increase in the price of salt

Motorists warned to 'take it slow on the ice and snow'


WAUSEON -- With the region peppered last winter with blasts of snow, Fulton County is facing a steep increase in the price of salt, according to the county engineer‘‍s office.

As it wraps up summer projects and prepares for the upcoming winter months, the engineer’‍s office noted that it has entered into a contract with North American Salt for road salt for the upcoming winter season. This year’s contracted rate of $95.50 per ton is up 53 percent over the previous year.

“It’s been a tough bidding and negotiation process this year,” stated county engineer Frank Onweller. “Salt is at a premium due to the high usage from last year’s winter.” The county has about 1,000 tons in storage and expects to purchase 1,200 to 1,400 tons this winter.

“Rates fluctuate every year, but this year is one of the most significant increases we’ve seen since 1997. I’ve been in communication with other county engineer’s offices throughout the state, and most seem to be dealing with these higher prices as well. In some counties, they are unable to even get a salt supplier to quote them a price so they are still searching for salt.”

With the exception of the 2013-14 season the county used on average 1,000 tons of salt over the last 10 winters. With no sure fire way to predict the upcoming winter‘‍s snowfall, sufficient salt is needed to keep the public safe, Mr. Onweller said.

As Monday marks the unofficial end of summer, “the chance of wintry weather is still a couple of months away,” but Mr. Onweller noted in a chilling statement of reality, and pointed out that motorists should “take it slow on the ice and snow.”

“Leave for your destination early, and drive well below the speed limit. Give our snowplows extra room to navigate. They aren’t able to drive as fast as the posted speed limit and their vision is restricted. You are able to see them, but they may not be able to see you.”

Revenue to pay operational costs and expenditures in the county engineer’s office and highway department are generated from the collection of motor vehicle license registration fees and state fuel taxes.

For information and tips on driving in ice and snow, visit the Ohio Department of Transportation’s dot.state.oh.us.

And to keep things in perspective...today’‍s forecast: slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. 

RELATED: The Blade Weather Page

For Monday, the weather is seasoned with some so-long-to-summer warmth. There‘‍s a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 10 a.m., but the National Weather Service is calling it partly sunny, with a high near 86.