By Dustin Ensinger
After the city of Reynoldsburg was recently hammered with about seven inches of snowfall, officials scrambled to make sure enough road salt is available to get through the remainder of winter.
On Feb. 23, Reynoldsburg City Council unanimously approved the purchase of 500 tons of road salt under emergency order.
At a cost of $138 per ton, the purchase will cost the city $69,000, an amount that was already budgeted.
The city currently has 400 tons of road salt on hand. Its salt barns hold about 3,000 tons.
“We are running very, very low,” said Service Director Nathan Burd.
The city entered the winter season with about 1,400 tons of salt, about 500 tons less than the amount used during a typical winter.
The lack of available supply is due to an unseasonably high amount of snow accumulation in the 2013-14 winter season.
The scarcity of road salt has caused the cost to rise exponentially. Prior to the 2013-14 winter season, the city purchased road salt for under $9 per ton.
Road improvement program
Council held its first reading on a measure to approve the city’s 2015 road resurfacing program.
The plan – which includes about nine street repaving projects, the paving of a parking lot in the Old Reynoldsburg business district and the replacement of the brick crosswalks on Main Street with asphalt – will cost $900,000 to $960,000, according to Burd.
The city plans to replace the brick crosswalks on Main Street with asphalt at a cost of $418,000. City officials say they frequently get complaints about the crosswalks, which are difficult to maintain.
The cost to repave the parking lot in Old Reynoldsburg is estimated to be no more than $80,000, according to Burd.
Street sweeper purchase
Council unanimously approved the purchase of a new street sweeper for about $280,000.
The city has been without its own street sweeper for more than a year after the machine the city used for 17 years broke down for good in October 2013. Most cities, Burd said, replace street sweepers every five to seven years.
Burd said it was inefficient to pay an outside entity for the work.
Planning commission appointment
Council unanimously voted to reappoint James Comeaux to serve on the planning commission.
The measure was passed under emergency order. Comeaux’s term begins Feb. 23 and ends Dec. 31, 2017.
“He comes with my high recommendation,” said Councilman Dan Skinner, who served with Comeaux on the planning commission.