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Counties Decline Salt Use Despite Snow Emergency
PREBLE COUNTY -- Preble and Darke County engineers told us they chose not to put salt on most roads despite their Level One snow advisory.
It's difficult to keep snow off the ground when you have 15-plus mph winds drifting snow every which way.
"Big time blowing, I've cleaned my driveway and sidewalks twice," said Preble County resident Michael Caudill. "I've done it this morning around 8 o'clock and I did it about half an hour ago."
Same thing goes for the plow trucks.
"By the time I went down the road literally within five minutes of turning around to go back through you couldn't tell that the road had been plowed at that point," said Preble County Engineer Kyle Cross. "So it's more frustrating pushing the same snow around three or four times while it's still there."
That wind can also sometimes make salt ineffective. Plow drivers are not putting any salt down because the drifting snow would've stuck to it and made the snow piles even higher.
"It depends on the variables," said Cross. "First being the wind, second being the temperature. Salt loses its effectiveness below 20 degrees."
So counties like Darke and Preble decide not to blow away those funds. It's especially important for Preble County. Several years ago the budget crunch was so bad, there wasn't enough salt to go around.
"They were a lot worse back then, this right here is clean compared to what they were back then," said Caudill.
"Before the shortage when the salt was relatively cheap we were treating full-length, plowing full-length but then again our finances were better," said Cross. "Had more revenue and with lower salt prices we were able to do more."
Preble County's engineer says they've already spent more than anticipated this winter and any more snowfall will pull from the roads and bridges budget.
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