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Cost for road salt more than doubles

The cost of stocking up on road salt to fight winter snowstorms will more than double in Evanston this year.

The City Council is scheduled this evening to approve buying up to 6,660 tons of rock salt from its long-term supplier, Morton Salt, at a cost of $104.40 per ton.

Public Works Director John Burke says that’s the best price he’s seen this season, and notes that other communities in the area are faced with paying a cost of $145 to $165 a ton.

The Morton Salt bid is conditioned on the council approving the deal at tonight’s meeting.

The city, which usually uses about 5,500 tons of salt a year, spread nearly twice that much on city streets last year, in what was the fourth snowiest winter on record in the metro area.

The city now has only 300 tons on hand in its salt dome, but secured an emergency supply of 2,000 tons from its distributor of liquid de-icer, WellSpring Management, late last month at a price of $130 per ton.

While that’s higher than the Morton Salt bid, it’s less than the $155 per ton the city had to pay for its last supplemental salt delivery back in February.

Salt supplies have been tight this year both because of the heavy use of salt last winter and spring floods that limited salt mining.

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