There are several more weeks remaining of what has been a snowy and icy winter already and communities across Iowa are taking stock of how much rock salt they have in reserve.
Don Colony heads a team of seven snow-low drivers in the eastern Iowa city of North Liberty. Colony says they’ve already put in a lot of hours plowing and treating the roads with salt. “We got eight hundred tons this year, and we probably have gone through half of it. And I’m starting to get a little worried so we’re kind of cutting back a little bit,” Colony says.
Salt can be expensive to buy during the winter season. One alternative is for cities and counties to buy extra rock salt from the Iowa Department of Transportation, something spokesperson Bob Younie says is already beginning this season. “So far this year we’ve sold about 2,500 tons. These are entities that have come to us saying ‘you know I can’t get any more from my vendor’ and it’s a public safety issue, so we sell them salt,” Younie says.
Younie says despite the number of storms recently, he’s confident the DOT has enough salt on hand to last the rest of the season.