The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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March 7, 2014

Salt supply dwindles

CLINTON For evidence of a harsh Gateway winter, look no further than the city's salt stash. The problem isn't unique to Clinton, either, according to Tom Krogman, city public works director.

"We're getting down there," Krogman said, Wednesday, following the second flurry of March. "We knew we were beginning to run short. Right now, we've been focusing on hills and intersections."

The meteorological winter, which runs from December to February, dumped 43.6 inches on the region according to local weather experts. That's the 19th most since the statistics went into record starting in the late 1800s.

But compiling the problem has been the number of days public works has dealt with the issue this year.

Krogman said Clinton hasn't received the heavy blizzards, but numerous flurries like the inch that fell Wednesday.

"The amount of snowfall wasn't as much to play as the number of events we've had," Krogman said. "We had numerous events that only amounted to stuff like today. But you've still got to go out and take care of it."

Clinton, he said, has started to mix sand in with the salt to keep the latter resource from depleting. The sand is used to help give traction to tires on the road and grinds through icy surface.

So far, he estimated public works has used up 4,000 tons of salt. Krogman said he recently ordered 500 tons more and has had to ration it. Clinton orders its snowmelt from the state department, a supply that's also running low according to Krogman.

"We're all in the same boat," he said.

Like many locals, he's ready for spring.

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