TWINSBURG TWP. — Like other communities in Northeast Ohio, the township is facing considerably higher costs for road salt this winter.

At a special session Oct. 10, Trustees approved additional 2018 appropriations of about $100,000 for salt, which Township Manager Rob Kagler said would allow the purchase of 1,000 tons — 500 tons through the end of the year and 500 tons for use after Jan. 1.

Kagler said the township has found two alternative suppliers, Nordonia Landscape Supplies, which will sell the first 500 tons at $98 a ton delivered; and Mid-America Salt LLC, which will provide the second 500 tons at $102 a ton.

The township usually purchases salt through the Community University Educational Purchasing Association, a cooperative comprising surrounding communities.

This year’s primary bid through CUE is $79.87 a ton, but the supplier — Cargill — cannot guarantee providing the amount that communities are requesting, and salt at that price wouldn’t be available until after Jan. 1.

"Waiting to buy salt at the $79 price is super risky, whereas the $102 price virtually guarantees we can get what we want," said Trustee Thomas Schmidt. "We have a commitment to keep our residents safe. We must have salt."

Kagler said the township usually spends from $50,000 to $80,000 a year for salt. With about 800 tons currently on hand, he said he hopes the 1,800 tons total will get the township through the winter.

"Road salt prices are higher, but we have reviewed alternate supply resources and this is the best pricing we have found," said Trustee Chair Jim Balogh. "Proactively, over the past few years, Todd Johnson of our service department, along with Rob, have been reviewing our salt usage.

"From that study we will put in place a salt application program that will continue to keep our streets safe while using slightly less salt. Budget-wise, we’ll spend more per ton for salt, but we’ll use less, so the economic impact will not be as great as it might have been prior to the salt use study.

"And we will be well supplied to treat our roads throughout the winter."

Kagler said the township has agreed to store some salt for the city of Twinsburg so the latter can buy and store a larger amount early in the season. He said he will talk to Trustees in the future about methods to reduce salt usage.

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 Ext. 4189 or klahmers@recordpub.com