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Middletown using up salt for winter roads, but within budget, public works director says

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 1/31/18

Middletown highway crews are putting more salt down on borough roads than in a typical year, due to all the small “nuisance snows” we are getting this season, Public Works Director Greg …

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Middletown using up salt for winter roads, but within budget, public works director says

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Middletown highway crews are putting more salt down on borough roads than in a typical year, due to all the small “nuisance snows” we are getting this season, Public Works Director Greg Wilsbach tells the Press & Journal.

But he believes the $31,000 budgeted for snow removal materials in the 2018 budget will be enough. That’s the same amount that the borough budgeted in 2017.

The borough used less salt last winter than expected, so Wilsbach was able to stock up, putting him ahead of the game this season.

As of Jan. 23 Wilsbach told council that his crews had spread about 276 tons of salt on roads throughout the borough.

Over 110 tons was spread during just one storm, the one that lingered over a few days and led to council cancelling its Jan. 16 meeting. Crews had to spread salt three times during just that one storm, Wilsbach told council.

A typical storm requires 40 to 50 tons of salt, but this varies according to the kind of storm, how cold it is, and how long the storm lasts.

“You can’t really plow until it hits about that 3-inch mark, but usually if it is very cold outside and it freezes on the roadway, a half-inch warrants the crews coming out to salt,” he said.

The borough had already gone through the 200 tons of salt that Wilsbach had ordered before Christmas. He told council on Jan. 23 that he had ordered another 250 tons.

Given how much salt municipalities in general are using this season, Wilsbach said he was surprised that the 250 tons arrived within a day or so of him ordering it.