Road salt a valuable commodity

Old Man Winter is stirring and that means Groveport’s "road snow warriors" are looking for salt to fight the ice to come.

"We’ve committed to 600 tons of salt at $148 a ton," said interim Groveport Village Administrator Ken Salak at Groveport Village Council’s Sept. 22 meeting. "That’s almost triple what the cost was last year when we only had to pay $58 a ton."

Salak said the $88,800 worth of salt will be added to the 220 tons the village still has on hand in its salt barn from last winter.

"Our salt barn will hold 1,500 tons of salt," said Groveport Public Works Superintendent Dennis Moore. "We used 750 tons last year. The most we’ve ever used in one winter was 950 tons."

Salak said the cost of salt has risen because the Louisiana salt mines, where the salt is purchased, have not been able to refill their stock because of weather conditions.

"We’re getting imported salt brought up the Mississippi River by barge," said Salak, who did not know the country where the salt originated. "It will potentially be smaller granules of salt."

"You’ll see this throughout Ohio," said Moore. "We’re not alone."

Salak said he believes salt prices will be lower next year after the Louisiana salt mines replenish their stock.

Stimulating growth

Council approved an ordinance that will allow a prospective business an annual credit of income taxes paid to the village of not more than 20 percent for a period not to exceed five years on the conditions that: no other abatement is available and state job creation tax credits are approved. Additionally, the village is requiring the participating business have a minimum annual payroll of $1 million.

The legislation is designed to jump start commercial growth in some of the older warehouses in the village. Village officials believe the idea will help find businesses to take over older facilities that no longer have any financial incentives for development as well as making the village more competitive in attracting businesses.

Green said an example of an older facility that would be aided by the plan is the former Radio Shack warehouse located near Hamilton Road and Williams Road. He said a company is considering leasing the building.

"If negotiations are successful and the company chooses this facility, it could result in the creation of up to 150 jobs for the village at an hourly rate of approximately $11 an hour to start generating a payroll of $3.5 million a year," said Green.

Other Groveport news

•Councilman Ed Dildine wants the village to consider purchasing a generator for both the municipal building and the recreation center so the buildings can be used as an operations center and an emergency site in case of natural disasters or other emergencies.

Councilman Shawn Cleary agreed stating, "If last week’s windstorm had been two months later we could’ve been in trouble."

Cleary added he’d like to see the village’s disaster plan updated, noting that the village has been hit three times in four years with severe weather including the 2004 ice storm, the 2008 snowstorm, and the 2008 windstorm.

Officials will look into both suggestions.

•Council will discuss, at its Oct. 20 committee meeting, the possibility of instituting a four day work week of 10 hour days.

•Mayor Lance Westcamp said he could announce the village’s new administrator at council’s Oct. 13 meeting.

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