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Rough winter increases price of salt

By Suzanne Spencer
Published On: Aug 13 2014 10:32:46 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 14 2014 05:32:54 AM CDT

All the snow we got last winter appears to be causing the price of salt to rise by almost 50% per ton. It has some cities scrambling to find money to pay for it. WSBT's Suzanne Spencer reports.

GOSHEN -

Everyone can remember the snow that didn't seem to stop last winter.

Now, it's having repercussions on the plowing industry.

The price of salt increased by 50% for many local cities.

"We all expected a jump," said Goshen Street Commissioner Denny Long. "But I have no idea how they can justify a 50% rate increase."

Goshen paid $61 per ton of salt last year.

This year, North American Salt Company, announced Goshen's prices would increase to $99 per ton of salt.

Long said they typically order about 2,000 tons of salt. With the new numbers coming in, it puts him over budget by $58,000.

"It's scary for us sitting here trying to plan a budget," said Long.

But Goshen is not alone. St. Joseph County saw an increase from $48 per ton to $73.

And it's just... salt.

"We're trying to figure out where we're coming up with this additional money because I certainly didn't have near that much figured into a budget for salt," said Long.

Long says he suspects the increase could be because suppliers lost money from last years unusual winter.

It could also be because only one company bid on Goshen's salt supply.

Other cities had multiple bidders with the lowest bidder being awarded the job.

Long says there's no going back because the city is locked into their commitment to North American Salt Company.

"We have to declare in April how much salt we're going to need for the next winter," said Long. "My crystal ball obviously wasn't very good."

Long says the city is looking into collecting their own bids for salt next year. He hopes doing it on their own will save the city money.