Crystal Lake to buy 1,500 tons of extra road salt

Material costs $64.61 a ton

The city will buy 1,500 tons of extra road salt to help keep streets clear if the area should face unusually high amounts of snow and ice this winter.

The City Council voted
Nov. 20 to work with the Lake County Division of Transportation salt program and buy salt from Morton Salt Inc. at $64.21 a ton.

The city already participates in the biennial salt purchase program coordinated by the state. However, the two-year contract with the state caps the quantity that can be bought over a two-year period, according to city documents.

In a memo to the City Council, Public Works director Michael Magnuson said this requires the city to estimate winter weather conditions two years in advance. The current contact through the state is for a price of $46.69 a ton through Compass Minerals, according to city documents. However, no additional salt can be bought with this agreement.

“At the start of this winter season, our reserves in storage are less than a typical year, which is attributable to last year’s longer icing events that used more salt,” Magnuson said. “While the state contract will provide the typical quantity we utilize in a typical year, Public Works would like to have a reserve quantity in storage for unforeseen contingencies.”

The city solicited bids in September for additional salt, but it only received a quote from Midwest Salt for $97.35 a ton.

In an effort to keep prices down, the Public Works Department contacted other area agencies and found that the Lake County Division of Transportation’s salt-buying program allows other government agencies to join.

Through this program, the city will buy salt at $64.21 a ton. The price is close to what the village of Cary ($62.15), village of Fox River Grove ($63.18) and city of Woodstock ($62.44) pay through the Lake County contract, according to city documents.

Magnuson could not be reached for comment Monday.