(BEDFORD) - Fortunately, icy conditions that were forecast for last night didn't come to pass as forecasted, but the potential still exists for slick conditions this winter, with frequent snowfall forecast throughout December by the Old Farmer's Almanac.
That has people worried about salt supplies for area highway departments. The Bedford Street Department says they should be fine for a normal winter, but intend on ordering more salt after new years.
Nobody was available to comment in Mitchell. Lawrence County Highway Superintendent Dan Lucas tells WBIW News, however, that, though they are technically fine, that can change, especially since salt prices have more than doubled since last winter.
Lucas says salt went from $48/ton last year to $99/ton this year, and he says, "the ol' county just can't afford that."
Currently, county crews will mix 4 parts sand or cinders with 1 part salt, but if they run out of salt, it will be all abrasives, and no melting agents.
Lucas says that, no matter what, the highway crews are being instructed to use salt sparingly due to the cost and the current stock they have, and that he will be presenting a series of cost-saving measures to the Lawrence County Commissioners at their meeting next Tuesday, December 9th.
Lucas says measures to keep costs in line may include reductions in hours worked and strategies to conserve salt.
Lucas says that the budget for the Lawrence County Highway Department has been marginally reduced for 2009, and says most of that is due to fuel costs.
The Old Farmer's Almanac says December and January will see above-average snowfall in the western half of the Ohio Valley region, which includes most of the WBIW listening area, but slightly below average snowfall in the overall region.
The Almanac forecasts snow showers every week this month, and our partners at The Weather Channel says our next chance for snow comes this Saturday.
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