States Fret as Road Salt Grows Scarce, Pricey

Last year's winter depleted reserves
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2008 3:43 PM CDT
John DiCola Jr., supervisor of Neshannock Township in New Castle, Pa., stands in his road salt storage facility, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/Andrew Rush)
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(Newser) – Road salt is stressing state and municipal budgets as shortages drive prices up well past what local governments have paid in the past, USA Today reports. A harsh winter last year left many states with no salt reserves to carry over, meaning they have to fully restock at inflated prices. New Hampshire is paying $10 million for salt that cost $8 million last year.

In Ohio, where some reports put the price of salt at $150 a ton—triple the usual cost of around $50 a ton—Gov. Ted Strickland has launched an investigation. "People are freaking out about it because you don't want to run out," says the president of a salt vendors’ association. "It's going to be an interesting winter."