Delayed delivery of rock salt challenging municipalities

Mar 5, 2015

Credit File Photo / WBFO News

What has turned out to be a long and arduous winter has meant extra time on the road for municipal highway crews, and extra demand for one of the season’s most precious commodities.

Town of Cheektowaga Highway Superintendent, Mark Wegner, says salt supply is his biggest challenge right now, because deliveries to the town are over two weeks behind.

“We’re getting one or two loads a day, and their answer is, ‘it’s a bad winter, and everybody’s behind,'” Wegner said.

Wegner is referring to American Rock Salt. The company, based out of Hampton Corners, south of Rochester, supplies Cheektowaga and other municipalities such as Erie County. The company declined an interview, but issued a written statement saying they are working to meet the needs of all customers, and will not let any one run out of salt. To do that, they are allocating orders when deemed necessary, and say they are working to determine a priority of need.

Wegner says he has heard from other highway Superintendents that they’re getting the same response from suppliers as he has. In his words, ‘everybody’s budget is almost shot.’ Wegner’s got two thousand tons left to order for the rest of the year before he hits the town’s max. It sounds like a lot, but he can’t be sure that it will be enough.

“I can’t predict the weather, but hopefully we don’t have to use it, because I still have November, December to get through,” said Wegner.