Increased salt purchases aren’t on the menu for most Douglas County governments.
Across the country, some cities are already stockpiling winterizing salt
Public Works officials at both the city of Lawrence and Douglas County said they have not seen a drop in salt prices from their suppliers.
Mark Thiel, assistant director of public works for the city of Lawrence, said his department currently did not plan to buy any additional salt for the upcoming winter. The city used only 750 tons of salt last winter, down from an average of about 3,500 tons. The mild winter has left the city with about 5,000 tons of salt in reserve.
“We have a contract price locked in, so we can buy some later in the year if we need to,” Thiel said.
Douglas County reduced its purchase of salt from 2,000 tons to 1,500 tons to prepare for the upcoming winter, said Doug Stephens, operations division manager for Douglas County Public Works. Stephens said that still will leave the county’s salt stockpile about 1,000 tons larger than normal.
Thiel said he was not surprised salt companies weren’t offering large discounts on salt prices.
“If there isn’t the demand for it, they just stop mining it,” Thiel said. “Salt really doesn’t have a shelf-life. It has been in the ground for millions of years.”