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North Aurora looking to buy more road salt

Updated: February 22, 2014 6:11AM

NORTH AURORA — This winter’s frequent snowfalls have emptied road salt sheds throughout northern Illinois, Public Works Director Mike Glock has told the North Aurora Finance Committee.

That’s why Glock asked the committee to approve buying 500 tons of salt from a private distributor, even though the village hasn’t yet received its entire allotment of discounted salt bought through Illinois’ joint purchase program.

“IDOT doesn’t have any salt. Kane County and Geneva are hurting for salt. We’re a little better off than a lot of towns because we’ve been salting conservatively, but I don’t feel comfortable with our current level of salt,” he asserted.

North Aurora can purchase up to 2,160 tons of road salt this winter through the joint purchase program — 120 percent of its original 1,800-ton allotment, said Village Administrator Steven Bosco. So far the village has received 1,580 tons, 500 of which arrived last week.

While the village started the winter with 500 tons of salt left over from last year, Public Works crews have already spread about 1,200 tons on local roads, leaving 880 tons in the sheds with more snow predicted in the next week.

Worse, the widespread salt shortage could delay or prevent the state from delivering the rest of the village’s allotment before Public Works runs through that 880 tons, Bosco said.

“Last year the state was importing salt from Europe and South America because the U.S. supply ran short,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if we’re entitled to it or not. If they can’t get it, we can’t get it.”

So the Finance Committee approved Glock’s plan to buy 500 tons of salt from Morton Salt Co. for $66 per ton, $11 per ton more expensive than the $55 per ton the village would pay through the joint purchase program.

The Village Board will vote on the $32,975 purchase Tuesday. If Morton’s price rises before that happens, the village will simply buy however much salt $32,975 will cover, Bosco said.

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