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Wilmette Starts Conserving Road Salt Saturday; No Salt for Side Streets

Major streets and those with schools and other critical public facilities will still get salted, but side streets will not, barring "extraordinary circumstances."

After a brutal winter and more snow and ice on the way, Wilmette announced that it is running low on salt and will start conserving it tomorrow.

The following is a press release from the Village of Wilmette:

Effective Saturday, February 1st, the Village of Wilmette will be implementing its Salt Shortage Plan. Each year, the Village purchases salt from the State of Illinois Joint Purchasing Contract and is permitted to purchase up to 120% of its average annual allotment. The Village has ordered its full allocation for the current season and the vendor is unable to provide any additional quantities. The Village has contacted 12 other salt vendors, none of whom have additional quantities available. The Village has approximately 500 tons of salt on hand and an additional 450 tons on order, but delivery of this remaining order is uncertain at best.  This will not be sufficient to last until spring unless the Village takes immediate steps to curtail usage and conserve its remaining supply.

The prolonged, severe winter weather has caused the Village to deplete its salt supplies much more rapidly than usual.  Severe cold and river icing has also greatly restricted the supply of new salt to the marketplace, so that many municipalities such as Wilmette find themselves with diminished salt supply and doubtful resupply. The Village has met this full requirement for the current season and the vendor is unable to provide any additional quantities. The Village has contacted 12 other salt vendors, none of whom have additional quantities available.

The Village has approximately 500 tons of salt on hand and an additional 450 tons on order. The  Salt Shortage Plan will allow the Public Works Department to strategically manage its remaining salt supply by continuing to treat the following areas with salt:

·       Major and Collector Streets

·       Streets with Schools

·       Critical Public Facilities

·       Recreational Facilities

·       Public Transportation

·       School, Business and Commuter Walking Routes

To conserve salt supplies, residents and commuters should be aware that side streets previously salted during snow and ice operations will not be salted except under extraordinary circumstances.

This plan is designed to allow the Village to maintain a strategic salt supply of approximately 200 tons to respond to water main breaks, emergency fire responses and in the event of a major ice storm.  We appreciate the understanding of residents as the Village makes this change to its salting practices.

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