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* News Release *
Thursday, January 14, 1999 -- 1:00 p.m.
For Immediate Release


Butler County Engineer Dean C. Foster reports that salt supplies at the Engineer's Office are in very good shape. With recent reports of dwindling salt and problems transporting the salt, Foster noted that efforts to improve availability have helped ease the situation dramatically.

"We had a concern about material availability last week when we couldn't get our orders shipped. Realizing that situation would not suffice throughout the entire winter, we knew we had to come up with a workable solution," he said. "After meeting with the supplier on Friday, we decided to hire our own trucking companies to expedite deliveries. Apparently our plan has worked well. We received a call from the supplier's Chicago headquarters requesting to use our trucking companies to deliver salt to other agencies."

The BCEO now has 1,300 tons of salt on hand with more on the way. While his Office currently has the capacity to store up to 2,000 tons, Foster said he intends to begin construction of a 6,500 ton salt barn in March. "A larger storage barn has been in the works for a couple of years. This most recent situation simply emphasizes our need to have more salt storage here on site." In addition to treating 267 miles of County roadways, the Engineer's Office has supplied salt to other local governments, including the City of Hamilton, Liberty Township, and Madison Township.

2,600 Tons of Salt Used So Far

Since the nearly two week battle with winter began on January 1, County snow and ice control crews have spread approximately 2,600 tons of salt. Nearly 4,500 gallons of calcium chloride have been used and 250 tons of grits spread. Grit is a very fine aggregate used to improve traction on icy and snow-covered roads.

Butler County roadways are open and passable this afternoon; however, many remain icy and slush-covered. Heavy rains and melting snow earlier this week have combined to create numerous areas of ponding water on roadways. Motorists should utilize extreme caution as these areas are prone to re-freezing with the colder temperatures.

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