JT residents to see less salt on streets

Leaves are falling and snow is not far behind.

Welcome words?

Perhaps … to skiers and snowboarders, but not to road crews who make streets safe for the motoring public and municipalities paying for road salt.

Even before the first flake hits the ground, cities, counties and townships are stockpiling supplies in advance of storms and soaring prices.

According to Jackson Township Administrator Mike Lilly, the township paid $45 for a ton of salt in 2007.

This year, despite piggybacking on a Franklin County Contract, the per-ton cost jumped to $75.

Lilly said the township is fortunate to lock in at that price – other communities are paying as much as $150 a ton – and the township’s salt barn is stockpiled to capacity to cover 28 miles of roadway when winter storms hit central Ohio.

According to the administrator, the county has 18,000 tons of salt available at the current price, but when that source is tapped dry, it is unknown how high the price will go. As a result, the township is implementing measures to conserve its own supply.

“We got the salt barn filled right now,” reported Trustee Bill Lotz, “but citizens will see a change in how we salt the roads because we’ll use less salt. Areas that will see the most change are in the subdivisions where the township will use less or no salt

“The major thoroughfares will still be salted,” Lotz said. “That’s our priority.”

Lilly said township crews operate a pair of salt trucks during winter storm conditions and typically use approximately 1,000 tons of salt during an average winter season.

“We will have to make changes,” Lilly said. “We’ll have to be more choosy when we salt and how much we put down. Our road crews just spent two days in training at Franklin County in preparation for the upcoming (winter weather) season.”

In other action during an Oct. 14 meeting, the trustees set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Oct. 28 on a rezoning application for 6205 Hoover Road from rural residential to commercial service for an auto repair business.

Although the Franklin County Development Department denied the request 8-0 and the Jackson Township Zoning Commission unanimously followed suit, Lilly said the hearing is part of the rezoning process.

Board members also approved a memorandum of understanding with the Metro Parks system for a proposed park along the Scioto River Corridor.

Grove City is donating parkland in the flood plain and financial support, and the township is responsible for helping to identify and resolve zoning issues in addition to providing emergency service to the area.

“They’re not looking at any money from us,” Lilly said, “but the city is committing $50,000 a year for 10 years.”

The next meeting of the Jackson Township Trustees will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 28. A caucus session will begin at 6:15 p.m.

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