Some towns say road salt replenishment is lagging
Following several winter weather events in the past few weeks some municipalities say it is taking too long to get their road salt supplies replenished.
“A bunch of towns in our association … have been having issues,” said Tom Quinton, president of the Bergen County Public Works Administrators Association and superintendent of the Department of Public Works in Edgewater.
Quinton told The Record new supplies of road salt are supposed to arrive in three days but added: “That’s definitely not happening.”
Public works superintendents in Wood-Ridge, Garfield and Rutherford all tell similar stories of orders not arriving. They point the finger of blame at supplier Morton Salt for not providing definite delivery dates.
However, a representative of Morton Salt blames the weather for creating a high demand. “It basically seems like the back-to-back storms created a demand, which is affecting some deliveries,” spokeswoman Denise Lauer told the Record.
Some towns, however, say they are set for the winter. "We have plenty of salt and we should have plenty for rest of the year-- as long as it doesn't get too bad anyway," Dave Leutwyler, Plumsted Community Development Director, told the Messenger-Press.
During last year's road salt shortage, shipments were stuck in Maine because, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, federal officials failed to grant a waiver of the Jones Act, which would have allowed foreign vessels to haul road salt to Port Newark.
The cost of road salt has also jumped. At the start of this winter season, some municipalities reported prices are 10 to 15 percent higher. Some towns with multi-year contracts say prices have risen by up to 30 percent in the past two or three years.
David Matthau contributed to this report.