The Ann Arbor city council will be considering a resolution at its Feb. 18, 2014 meeting to purchase additional ice-control salt. Based on the $47,200 amount to be appropriated, and the $36.23 price per ton, the council will be authorizing the purchase of roughly 1,300 tons of additional salt.
A city staff estimate provided to The Chronicle puts the amount of salt used so far this season – through early February – at about 6,600 tons. That’s roughly at least as much or more than has been used in each of the previous five winter seasons. If the city uses all of the additional salt to be purchased – bringing this season’s total to about 7,900 tons – that would approach the maximum amount of salt used by the city over the last seven seasons. In the 2007-2008 season, the city of Ann Arbor used 8,500 tons of salt on its roads.
According to a staff memo accompanying the resolution, the city’s snowplow equipment uses “electronically calibrated spreader controls” to keep the amount of salt used to the minimum amount that is still consistent with traffic safety. The price the city is paying for the salt to be authorized on Feb. 18 is established through a state of Michigan’s MIDEAL program. According to the staff memo, the cost for purchasing additional material on the open market would be about $140, or nearly four times as much as under the MIDEAL program.