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MORELAND HILLS, Ohio --The public service department in the Village of Moreland Hills knows a thing or two about taking care of snowy, icy roads.

Once the snow begins piling up Friday, the town's truck drivers will plow and salt 78 miles of road lanes; much of it hilly, curvy terrain.

Three years ago, Moreland Hills and several other Cuyahoga County towns implemented a "smart salting" plan to save on the thousands of tons of industrial salt used to treat the roads each year.

Some of the steps they take include:

•Minimizing crews between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

•Calibrating equipment so the precise amount of salt is used

•Pretreating roads with a brine of beet juice or liquid magnesium chloride

•Focusing on the main roads, leaving side streets to the end of the process

The Moreland Hills Service Director says smart salting practices have saved about 1,000 tons of salt each year, reducing the overall amount needed by one-third.

With salt prices hovering just below $40, that equals thousands of dollars in savings each year.

City officials want to remind drivers: Give salt and plow trucks 75 feet of space in front of you, and never pull out in front of a truck because you are in a hurry.

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