City avoids road salt woes

By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW — Unlike other area communities, the city is not experiencing road salt shortages or large price increases.

 

This year officials joined the Michigan Inter-governmental Trade Network, and say that so far the decision has paid off.

 

MITN is a group of agencies that joined forces to create a regional bid notification system to notify members of new bid opportunities. In previous years the city sought road salt bids through the state of Michigan.

 

Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, two other local communities that use MITN, aren’t experiencing shortages yet, either.
Because Riverview joined, officials were notified that Detroit Salt Co. LLC had

 

150 tons of additional salt available for purchase at $46 per ton.
Other local communities, such as Allen Park, also buy their salt from Detroit Salt (see related story) but work through a consortium formed by the Downriver Community Conference. The DCC communities have seen a dramatic rate increase in the last month.

 

Riverview already has used a “considerable amount of salt,” and City Manager Dean Workman believed officials should spend the $6,873 on emergency salt while they still could.

 

“We’re not in a salt shortage yet,” he said. “We just had the opportunity and took it so we don’t run into any problems in the future.”

 

The reason Riverview and other MITN communities had cheaper salt available to them is because their bids went out last May.

 

“We got the bid sent out early,” Purchasing Director Denise Kuch said. “We were ahead of the troubles that were caused when Mississippi flooded.

 

“If we would have put out our bids in August or September like we used to, we would be in the same trouble as everyone else.”

 

During the summer, flooding closed down waterways in upper Mississippi for weeks, which disrupted barge shipments of road salt.

 

 

“Last year we had some trouble at the end of the year,” Kuch said. “If the weather continues to be like this, we could experience some shortages.”

 

Workman hopes to avoid shortages this year, but said nothing can be for certain with about two months of winter left.