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Public works departments used double the average amount of salt in November

Officials with the Cole County and Jefferson City public works departments say they’ve used significantly more salt so far this season than in recent years.

Mid-Missouri saw several winter weather events in November, which has made a dent in the resources of the city and county’s public works departments.

According to Britt Smith, the director of street maintenance for Jefferson City Public Works, the city has used 700 tons of salt since the beginning of November, a sharp increase from the 200-400 tons they typically use in the same period.

“It is a higher usage to start off the year,” Smith said. “It is using our resources as well. It’s not just the salt, it’s the wear and tear and the trucks and the overtime for the guys.”

Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz said the department has used about double the normal amount of salt, with 300 tons since the beginning of November. Benz said the increased use does not mean they expect to run out of resources.

“We can hold probably an excess of 5,000 tons (of salt) in our various locations,” Benz said. “We’re at no point concerned at this time.”

Smith said he also has no concern about running low on pretreatment resources, as the city can store a maximum of about 3,500 tons of salt. The city also has the funding to replenish the salt reserves if needed, which takes about a week after submitting an order with the contractor, Smith said.

“We’ve got a tremendous group of guys to do this work. They’re prepared, and (the) City Council has put good resources at our disposal,” Smith said.

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