|WCSI Local News|
The road salt situation for Columbus and Bartholomew County is considerably better that what it was just one week ago.
During Monday's meeting of the Bartholomew County Commissioners, it was made known that 200 tons of road salt was recently delivered to the county garage. County Highway Engineer Danny Hollander added that Columbus also received a shipment, but he was not sure how much.
Commission Chairman Carl Lienhop noted that 200 tons of salt recently arrived with another 150 tons on backorder. Hollander noted that the county's contract with their supplier call for the delivery of 1,200 tons of salt each winter at a set price of $60 per ton. Terms of the contract allow the county to purchase an additional 20 percent of the contracted amount, or 240 tons, for the same price. Hollander says that once the 150 ton backorder has been delivered, that is all the salt that Bartholomew County will receive at that price.
Due to the harsh winter, municipalities across the state are scrambling to increase their supplies. Bartholomew County is no different. Commissioners said that since they have essentially exhausted their contracted supply of road salt, they had to look elsewhere. They eventually found a supplier out of Texas who is delivering product to the county garage, at a price. Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the purchase of 300 tons of road salt from the Texas supplier at a cost of $191 per ton, more than triple the rate being paid under the current contract.
Lienhop, along with fellow commissioners Larry Kleinhenz and Rick Flohr all agreed that they had no choice but to pay the price. "At some point, it's a black market price, but you've got to pay it," said Lienhop. Kleinhenz was quick to add that this was no fault of anyone at county government. He added that there is only so much salt that can be stored and sometimes it works to your advantage and other times it doesn't. Echoing Kleinhenz' point, Hollander noted that due to last winter's above temperatures and below-average snowfall, the county purchased a lot of salt it didn't use. Luckily, it was on hand for this winter. If it hadn't Bartholomew County would have had to purchase more salt at higher prices.
Last Updated: Monday, February 03, 2014 2:20:53 PM
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