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Hinsdale’s winter stew needs more salt

<p>| Sun-Times Media File&nbsp;</p>

| Sun-Times Media File 

Facts

Rock salt used Fiscal year 2011-12: 967 tons (19 snow or ice occurrences) Fiscal year 2012-13: 1,100 tons (26 snow or ice occurrences) So far this fiscal year: 900 tons (23 snow or ice occurrences) Overtime pay for Public Services Department Fiscal year 2011-12: $26,000 Fiscal year 2012-13: $38,000 So far this fiscal year: $63,000

Due to the number of snowfalls already this winter, the village is ordering more rock salt.

Last fiscal year, the village budgeted $65,000 to cover the purchase of up to 1,200 tons of rock salt, calcium chloride and other de-icing materials.

The village purchases rock salt through the state purchasing program, which requires customers take delivery during the winter of at least 80 percent of the amount of the contract.

Because last winter was mild, the village had plenty of road salt, 350 tons, left over. Consequently, this fiscal year the village contracted for a smaller amount, up to 720 tons, costing $49.66 per ton.

But by this weekend, village crews were running out of salt. The staff ordered 175 more tons from Morton Salt at $54.66, the maximum amount Village Manager Kathleen Gargano has the authority to order without Village Board approval.

On Tuesday, the board approved buying an additional 225 tons of rock salt, which, at the $54.66 price per ton, totals about $12,300. The per ton cost is $5 more than the contract price, because the village is ordering more salt than the contract guaranteed.

The board also lifted the $10,000 spending limit for the village manager, pertaining to needed rock salt purchases during the remainder of the winter.

The village ordered an additional $2,000 worth of liquid calcium chloride and de-icing material, too. Calcium chloride helps the salt thaw ice in colder temperatures, and the bags of de-icing material are spread on sidewalks, stairs and ramps.

As of Jan. 7, Hinsdale’s Public Services Department had salted or plowed snow on 23 different occasions this winter, compared with 26 occurrences of snow or ice all last winter, Village President Thomas Cauley said.

The village also exceeded its budget for overtime, because five of the snows were on weekends and three were on holidays, Cauley said.

The past three years, the village budgeted $60,000 annually for overtime pay in its Public Services Department, not including the police and firefighters.

The village has spent $63,000 on public works’ overtime pay this fiscal year, of which $52,000 was for workers removing snow and/or ice, Cauley said.

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Facts

Rock salt used Fiscal year 2011-12: 967 tons (19 snow or ice occurrences) Fiscal year 2012-13: 1,100 tons (26 snow or ice occurrences) So far this fiscal year: 900 tons (23 snow or ice occurrences) Overtime pay for Public Services Department Fiscal year 2011-12: $26,000 Fiscal year 2012-13: $38,000 So far this fiscal year: $63,000
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