During rough winter, neighbors knock ...

During rough winter, neighbors knock on Cook County's door for salt

There are 12 comments on the Chicago Sun-Times story from Mar 30, 2014, titled During rough winter, neighbors knock on Cook County's door for salt. In it, Chicago Sun-Times reports that:

While many suburbs struggled to stretch salt supplies during one of the snowiest winters on record , Cook County was quietly doling out tons to those in need.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Sun-Times.

Top Loan to Blue Island

Maywood, IL

#1 Mar 30, 2014
During rough winter, neighbors knock on Cook County’s door for salt
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter March 30, 2014 5:20PM

A Chicago Streets and Sanitation worker grooms a pile of road salt this week. Although Chicago says it has a good supply many of the suburban communities are running out of salt after an unusually cold and snowy start to the winter.| Scott Olson~Getty Im
Updated: March 30, 2014 8:54PM

While many suburbs struggled to stretch salt supplies during one of the snowiest winters on record , Cook County was quietly doling out tons to those in need.

The brutal winter — which saw more than 80 inches of snowfall — left many suburbs close to the end of their supplies, many using less salt as a last resort. And many turned to Cook County for help. The county loaned out 1,339 tons, about 2.8 percent of its salt supply this winter, according to Frank Shuftan, spokesman for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

The top loans went out to Blue Island — 300 tons of salt — and Lemont and Lake County at 200 tons, Shuftan said.

Cook County used 32,700 tons of salt on county roads this winter but still had 11,000 tons on hand for next season, Shuftan said.

The suburbs and municipalities that borrowed the salt must now add that amount to their orders for next winter, according to Cook County maintenance bureau chief John Yonan. Ultimately, those communities must return the equivalent of that salt to Cook County.

Yonan said the county also had extra salt from the 2012-2013 supply due to the mild winter. The county spent $2.6 million on salt last year, at about $55 a ton. That’s a good deal in the salt world, where shortages mean big bucks for salt companies.

“We loaned out the salt at the rate we paid for it. What they’re going to get for it, we don’t know,” Yonan said.“The market right now, it seems like it’s going to be a buyer’s market ... they’re going to go bid it and then they’re going to return it, to replenish it to us.”

Ed Paesel, executive director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, said Yonan reached out to south suburban public works managers in January.

“I was in a meeting with John and he said ‘I think we can help.’” Paesel said.“They clearly did a great job in helping out with shortages.”

Paesel said there was no way to predict this year’s brutal winter:“Everybody is used to the snowfall we’ve had the last few years, and this was so unusual that they just ran out very quickly,” Paesel said.“I think part of the problem was even some of the salt suppliers couldn’t get their supplies here because the lakes were frozen. It was a combination of things working against them.”

In early February, salt was averaging $200 a ton because of high demand this winter, a whopping increase from the average $50 a ton. In southwest suburban Tinley Park, crews had used about 75 percent of their salt supply by the first week of February. The suburb uses sand to help the supply go a bit further.

Other suburbs that got a bit of help from Cook County include Palos Hills with 60 tons, Harvey at 60 tons, Oak Lawn at 47 tons and Worth Township at 62 tons, according to the county.
What a Surprise

Maywood, IL

#2 Mar 30, 2014
Seems Blue Island's elected officials have been less than honest, again.
Thankful voter

Chicago, IL

#3 Mar 30, 2014
Our new mayor has friends to help city
Where did the Salt Go

Maywood, IL

#4 Mar 30, 2014
What a Surprise wrote:
Seems Blue Island's elected officials have been less than honest, again.
Blue Island streets were not salted during the snow storms; so where did the salt go and what was really done with the 300 tons of borrowed salt?
just wondering

Chicago, IL

#5 Mar 31, 2014
Wow! 300 tons? Did Blue Island just not bother to order any salt last fall? That's $15,000 worth of salt we owe the county.
paid

Chicago, IL

#6 Mar 31, 2014
Jr Brantley paid for the salt and the city gave him a public thank you.
paid

Chicago, IL

#7 Mar 31, 2014
just wondering wrote:
Wow! 300 tons? Did Blue Island just not bother to order any salt last fall? That's $15,000 worth of salt we owe the county.
your math is way off. Bulk salt was between 175.00 & 270.00 per ton this season
Bev

Blue Island, IL

#8 Mar 31, 2014
Now that's planning ahead, BI city works dept!
Ukidding

Chicago, IL

#9 Mar 31, 2014
Thankful voter wrote:
Our new mayor has friends to help city
This is poor planning! We borrowed which of course we have to pay back. And on top of that, our street were not very well salted. City is heading toward ruin.
could be right

Midlothian, IL

#10 Mar 31, 2014
when u have an employee lifting the bed of the truck to fill the spreader and they dump 1/4 ton on the road they could easily use up more then needed . I have seen them spill salt on Irving street behind Metro South and leave a pile in the roadway and drive off. Lack of qualified leadership and no training for others.300 tons borrowed how much did we go through?Bet that we used more here than larger towns like Oak Lawn, Alsip total joke
It is a Math Word Problem

Maywood, IL

#11 Mar 31, 2014
paid wrote:
<quoted text>your math is way off. Bulk salt was between 175.00 & 270.00 per ton this season
Cook county paid about $55.00 per ton.
How much does 300 tons cost?
$55.00 x 300 =$16,500.00
Misused

Maywood, IL

#12 Mar 31, 2014
Where did the Salt Go wrote:
<quoted text>
Blue Island streets were not salted during the snow storms; so where did the salt go and what was really done with the 300 tons of borrowed salt?
The consensus seems to be the Salt was Wasted.

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