Officials in Lansing said Wednesday they are now in “conservation mode” when it comes to the use of road salt, saying they are trying to stretch their existing supply so it lasts for the remainder of winter.
Village Administrator J. Wynsma said if there are no more major snowstorms this season, the Public Works Department ought to have enough to get through the season.
“If it starts to taper off, we’ll be OK,” he said. “But it has been the repeated cycle of storm after storm that has gone through our salt supply.”
Wynsma said that prior to the most recent snowstorm, Lansing had about 850 tons of road salt on hand. He said the village has used about 2,500 tons in their efforts to keep all streets clean. The village salts all thoroughfares and all residential streets at every snow event, Wynsma said.
Under conservation mode, the Public Works Department will only use road salt on main streets and at intersections in residential areas. Wynsma said that reduces the amount of salt used by about 65 percent.
If it turns out that Lansing has to purchase more salt to get through the winter, Wynsma said it would cause financial problems because the cost of road salt has increased in recent months from about $49 per ton to between $189 to $230 per ton.
“We would need hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy more salt,” Wynsma said. Wynsma said Lansing officials would like local residents to help the winter cleanup efforts by clearing out areas around fire hydrants on their property.
“The house they wind up saving could be their own,” Wynsma said.