SUDBURY, Ont. — Drivers travelling through the Sudbury area next winter may have to be extra careful. An annual saving of nearly $1 million has the city pondering a reduction in road salt use.
City councilors say they are intrigued by a budget-cutting proposal to substitute road salt with sand on all municipal roads with speed limits below 80 km per hour.
Facing a budget deficit of more than $9 million this year, councilors are seeking new cost-cutting options.
"I think we should consider this," says Ward 2 Coun. Ron Bradley.
The proposal put forward calls for salt spreading to be limited to the city’s major arteries, those roads with speed limits of 80 or 90 km/h. Secondary roads that normally are salted would be sanded instead.
A city staff report states using sand rather than salt would save $495,000 for the remainder of the year and $990,000 over a full year, beginning in 2003.
Although the proposal is being put forward for council’s consideration, it is not being recommended by city staff.
"I don’t, for a minute, recommend that you eliminate any salt use," says Don Belisle, the city’s general manager of public works.
He says any reduction in salt use ultimately translates into more hazardous driving conditions. Council is expected to make a decision next week.
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