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City to order 1,300 tons of road salt

By CARY ASHBY & ZOE GRESZLER • Updated Apr 19, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Norwalk city council passed a resolution Tuesday to participate in the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) winter contract for road salt.

Public works director Josh Snyder, before the meeting, said the city planned on ordering 1,300 tons — more road salt than it had purchased the last couple years.

“How much we order is just based on how much we used and how much we have the capacity to store,” he said. “It just depends on how bad of a winter it is and then how much we have to dip into our reserves. … That determines how much we order.”

Norwalk respectively ordered about 1,100 and 1,000 tons of road salt the previous two years.

Snyder said the city keeps about 400 tons in storage on Woodlawn Avenue, but after the winter season, Norwalk had to dip into those reserves a little bit.

“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had some mild winters, but this past winter was a pretty good one and we had to use a little more (salt). So that’s why we had to order a little more this year,” the engineer said.

Snyder has said he wasn’t sure what price the city would be offered once the order goes to bid, but said that participating in the ODOT winter contract gets Norwalk more bang for its buck. The contract allows a bigger order to be placed since many other agencies, cities and municipalities — and even ODOT itself — order road salt together to get a lower price.

“We have some more buying power that way with ODOT,” Snyder said.

Also passed Tuesday was a resolution for a 30-day contract extension for emergency medical services (EMS).

Safety-service director Ellen Heinz has said the extension is “fairly standard” and allows the parties to hammer out the last few details, which may require more time than what originally was planned. The extension will provide Norwalk and North Central EMS, a Fisher-Titus-affiliated service, time to continue working together under its current agreement.

“It’s just asking for the current contract to be extended while (the) renewal contract process is finalized,” Heinz said last week. “Negotiations are going well.”

In addition, law director Stuart O’Hara requested an executive session for council members to discuss an undisclosed collective bargaining agreement. No action followed the session.

There will be no meeting next week. Council will hold a work session at 7:30 p.m. April 30.

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