Salt supply concerns in Marathon County - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Salt supply concerns in Marathon County

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MARATHON CO. (WAOW) - Marathon County Highway Department leaders say there isn't a salt shortage, at least for now.

"We're still getting salt in Marathon County, granted some of it comes as far as St. Paul, Minnesota, so that tells us the salt supplies are kind of tight," said Dan Raczkowski, the operations superintendent.

He says the department has used 9,200 tons of salt on state highways so far, which is only 300 tons less than is used during an average winter season.

But he says currently, the salt supply is in good shape.

Last year, the winter lasted almost until May and I ran the numbers on how many tons of salt we used last year and right now with what we have available to us in the county and have in the sheds, we should be ok," said Raczkowski.

In Mosinee, public works leaders say their supply is also holding up.

But with salt costing $70 a ton, there could be trouble if the supply runs out.

"It's going to be over and above what we have budgeted, so we may have to dip into our contingency funds to purchase additional salt," said Kevin Breit, Mosinee Public Works Director.

If for some reason the department needs more salt and can't buy it, Breit says it will use sand on the roads instead.

"There's additional cleanup work in the spring to sweep up the sand, plus the snow doesn't melt off the streets, so they could potentially be a little slicker," said Breit.

Conserving the salt is important but public works leaders say the ultimate concern is safety.

"We'll do whatever we can to make sure our streets are kept as safe and as clean as possible," said Breit.

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