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Cincinnati preparing for winter with new plan that means less salt

Mark Heyne

Cincinnati will be starting the snow season with less road salt than it would like, but things could be worse.

Public Services Director Gerald Checco told a council committee Tuesday so far there is about 16,000 tons in storage.

“We know several cities, several villages around Cincinnati that have asked us to sell them the salt that they could not procure,” Checco said.  “We also are aware of entire states without salt contracts at this point.  That is going to be resolved, but that is a problem that we are very much mindful of.”

Salt supplies are low following last year's snowy and cold winter.  The city has contracts for 40,000 tons of salt.  Last year the city used 55,000 tons.  

City road crews will be scaling back the amount of salt they spread on the streets and will also be relying on other chemicals like brine and beet juice.

Jarrod Bolden with Public Services said the city will be taking a “not panic approach” this winter.

“We need to be smart about our resources,” Bolden said.  “I don’t want to say we want to be totally reactionary.  But we are definitely going to have to be very cautious in how we use our resources.”

Cincinnati officials have recently updated the city's plan for snow removal.  That review found segments of 300 streets were not included in the original document.  Those have since been added.   

Checco said the city is working toward using computer or smartphone app technology so residents get much better information on snowy mornings.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.