Vermont Monitors Salt Shortage

Published 02/12 2014 07:19PM

Updated 02/12 2014 07:33PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. - New York dealt with a salt shortage during last week's State of Emergency, even asking Vermont if it had any to spare. Now one day before another winter storm whacks the northeast, plow operator Burton Richardson received unfortunate news.

"The guy that we normally get our salt from stopped by just a little while ago and said that he was low, and that Dubois had shut pretty much everyone off except for the state. This is the first time in quite some time that we've actually had a problem getting salt," Richardson said.

Dubois Construction, co-owned by Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott, confirmed it stopped salt distribution to commercial customers this week.

"They're working 24/7 at the mines trying to keep up with the demand," the Republican said.

Knowing the salt supply is dwindling nationally during this harsh winter, Scott even called a meeting at the statehouse to discuss the issue earlier this week. He tasked the Vermont League of Cities and Towns with checking on municipalities statewide to see who is running low.

So far this winter the City of Montpelier has purchased 1900 tons of salt, and according to the latest City Manager's report there's no shortage in the city just yet. Brattleboro, in line for several inches Thursday night, says it too is okay for now.

Fortunately snow storms, like what's coming this week, require more plowing than salting.

"We use a lot of salt during small storms and ice storms," Scott says.

With the possibility of more harsh winter weather to come, Scott wants the state to be ready just in case.

"We have had a history of getting through rough winter's, but at the same time I think its better to be proactive and get on the front side of it than to be reactive,” he said.

The Lieutenant Governor expects to have the results of the tally within a few days. From their the state can help move supplies around as needed.

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