Questions About Salt Supply as Minn. Road Crews Prepare for More Snow

Updated: 03/18/2014 7:20 AM By: Jessica Miles

 As people celebrate St. Patrick's Day around the state, road crews are busy preparing for yet another snowstorm Tuesday.

Our brutally cold and snowy winter has left cities and counties low on salt to help clear the roads.

Anoka County started out with 25,000 tons of salt at the beginning of winter, but now only has 1,500 tons left. The county expects to be okay, but has been mixing salt with sand to make its supply last.

The county is getting calls weekly, from other agencies around the state, asking if they have any salt to spare.

KSTP checked in with cities around the metro.

Minneapolis officials said they could be over budget by a couple million dollars by the end of the year if the weather continues to affect streets.

St. Paul officials said the money for snow removal comes out of the street maintenance budget, which could result in problems as we get further into the year.

Blaine and Brooklyn Park have both reported salt and overtime being impact by this past winter.

Brooklyn Park officials said they have spent over their snow and ice control overtime budget.

Blaine Public Works Director Mike Ulrich said the city purchased a contracted amount of salt in January and only has enough left for two events.

Fortunately for the time being, Blaine, along with most other cities, said they will be able to finish out this winter. No cities have reported being unable to clear roads with the upcoming winter storm.

This long, cold winter is also delaying spring projects. "We're probably two-three weeks behind where we want to be. Our patching is behind because we can't patch roads when we're out plowing and salting and sanding," says Anoka County Transportation Division Manager Doug Fischer.