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The City of Athen’s surplus of salt stored at the Service Garage on West State Street.

Mild Winter Leaves Surplus of Salt and Money


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A pile of salt – covered by a tarp on West State St. testifies to the mild winter.  The surplus means less salt will be required next winter and that means more money for other projects.

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson is rejoicing.

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson  explains that an excess of salt may translate into extra funding next winter that could be put towards repairing roads.
Athens Mayor Steve Patterson explains that an excess of salt may translate into extra funding next winter that could be put towards repairing roads.

“It’s great because we get to essentially roll the savings with our salt surplus into next year.”

The city typically purchases salt in the early fall in advance of the first snowfall. While some salt will still be purchased, the current stockpile will leave the city with some leftover funds and the question of how to use that money.

“We’ll have to do a thorough assessment of how much salt we have and then how much we’ll need to buy, but the savings that we’re using for streets could be used in other ways,” Patterson said. “It could go towards resurfacing the streets, or it could go towards other things that are related to the streets themselves.”

Athens resident Sarah Stolzenburg would vote to put the money into road repair.

“I would like to see that money go towards potholes,” she said.  “There’s lots of them, and I’ve had some bad experiences.”

Stolzenburg said both East and West State Streets are in need of resurfacing.

Because the mild winter extended to other parts of the state, similar questions are being asked outside Athens County. Barnesville resident Mesha Long would also like roads repaired there.

“The first thing I’d do is put it into infrastructure,” he said. “I’d put it into the roads to help with paving potholes, or even constructing new roads.”

Long said roads damaged by fracking has increased the need to spend money there.

“We have a big fracking industry in Belmont County, and they’re just completely destroying the roadways,” he said. “Money should be put into infrastructure first and foremost.”