Price of salt increases, road commission prepares for winter - WNEM TV 5

Price of salt increases, road commission prepares for winter

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

It's still summer, but state and local agencies are already worrying about the coming winter.

Road commissions are seeing a major spike in road salt prices and it's expected to have a serious impact on their budgets.

"We're getting plows ready, the trucks, the salters, all that stuff for the winter season," said Jim Lillo, Bay County Road Commission engineer and manager.

Local road crews like the Bay County Road Commission are already preparing for the winter months and this year some budgets may take a hit, thanks to the higher cost of salt.

"The price of salt has jumped 50 percent. Last year we paid $41 a ton. This year we will be paying $61 a ton," Lillo said.

It's a painful increase, but Lillo said the price of salt often fluctuates from year to year.

Just two years ago Lillo said they paid almost the amount they're shelling out this year.

"Since we saw 57 two years ago, going to 61, it's still a big increase, but it's something we plan for," Lillo said.

Even though the road commission is paying much more for salt than last year, engineers said they want to make sure they're prepared in case there's another harsh winter.

"We're hearing this year might be the same as last year. Right now we have as much salt as we used last year so we don't perceive an issue of running out," Lillo said.

He said winter months usually mean more wear and tear on our state's already crumbling roads.

Lillo said he continue to call on state lawmakers to allocate more funding for repairs. 

"We can be as efficient and everything, but the roads are falling apart, but we need funding from Lansing. Bottom line," Lillo said.

The average increase for road salt is expected to rise nearly 50 percent statewide.

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