Salt shortage could mean slicker parking lots

 

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Private snow removal companies predict slicker parking lots at malls, hospitals, business parks and other commercial properties this season due to a salt shortage.

"The supply is really a lot tighter than it’s ever been before," said Jeff Sneller of Sneller Snow Systems in Byron Township. "Salt that once sold to the local snowplow contractors for around $60 per ton last year sold this fall for $125 per ton."

In some cases, the supply just isn’t there. That’s in part because last year’s winters in the Midwest and South used up more salt than usual, leaving mines with no leftover inventory. Then two major Midwest salt mines had significant issues that cut their production over the summer: one mine had a months-long strike and the other dealt with a leak.

The shortage prompted Sneller to look for salt overseas for the first time in his company's 34-year history. He found some in the North African county of Morocco, but also paid nearly double to get it to West Michigan.

"And then you pass (the cost) on," Jeff Rylaarsdam of Eco Green Supply in Wyoming explained. "The end user ultimately has to pay for it to some degree."

Full story: WOOD TV

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