Canton among cities running dangerously low on salt

CANTON -- Local communities are running dangerously low on salt after this latest storm.

Canton is one of them, and it barely has enough to get the city through another round of weather.

The main roads aren't bad, but the side streets haven't been able to get the attention they need.

Snow piles are making it tough to get out of driveways, and some people can barely make it down their street. The city says it's doing the best with what it's got.

"(It's) pretty bad. The residential neighborhoods are barely even touched," mother Darlene Cummings said. "I haven't seen any salt on the residential streets. I really haven't."

That's because Canton's salt supply is almost nonexistent after Wednesday's storm.

"We're definitely on a conservation mode, hitting hills, intersections, the main drags, not salting the flat areas or secondary routes like we'd like to," city of Canton Streets Superintendent Mike Rorar said.

Canton ordered 3,000 tons of salt in the beginning of January, but Morton Salt has only delivered 1,800 since then. Morton, based in Chicago, is the contracted provider this year. The company came in with a lower bid than local Cargill, but Morton's deliveries have been anything but reliable, leaving one of the salt domes empty.

"I'd like to see that order fulfilled is what I'd like to see," Rorar said.

Parents and drivers in the area would like to see that, too, as they worry about their families' safety.

"It's dangerous for everybody. That's why I have a bigger truck. Even if somebody would slide into me, she'd be safe," father Robert Foss said.

Others say there's just no excuse for a salt shortage.

"We know better. I mean, this is Ohio," driver Paul Burt said. "This is us every year. We won't ever have summer all year round."

Morton salt was supposed to deliver 80 tons to Canton on Thursday and Friday. The city only received 46 tons so far.

ODOT is also working on a new contract to help communities that need salt the most get it in the next few weeks. It will cost the cities nothing and end up being sort of a sharing program.

Rorar said if deliveries don't come in, the city will be in very bad shape for not just this season but next winter, too.


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