Road salt prices forcing towns to look for alternatives

AMHERST N.Y. (WIVB) – Salt prices are going up and that’s forcing Amherst town board member Mark Manna to look for alternatives when it comes to de-icing roads. He says a cheaper and more effective solution could be something you wouldn’t expect such as beet juice or cheese brine.

“Everybody is tired of having the rock salt ruin their shoes, their pants, and their cars and an extra $200,000 that Amherst will have to pay.” Manna said. “It’s time to look at doing something cheaper and better.”

The Town of Amherst has seen a 30 percent price increase for road salt this season.

“Niagara area in Canada uses beet juice on the roads before they salt. It makes the salt stick longer and it stops the scaring of the road,” Manna said. “Wisconsin uses cheese brine because of the high salt content. Some places use molasses sugar so it’s all different ways to get the job done.”

Manna plans to create a committee to look at the cost benefits and get a full environmental study done. Any changes wouldn’t take effect until next winter.

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