TODAY'S QUESTION: Did you notice a difference when the city switched to salt for snow removal?

Friday, February 12, 2010 | 12:26 p.m. CST; updated 2:28 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This past weekend, snow and ice was treated with salt instead of cinders, at the request of the City Council.

 Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill said he suggested the city stop using cinders after hearing numerous complaints about the mess they create.

He also brought up potential environmental concerns as another reason to not use cinders, saying that washing them into the city's storm sewer system can't be a good thing. On the other hand, Jill Stedem of Columbia Public Works noted that "there's nothing that's guaranteed to be environmentally friendly at this point."

It is unclear whether or not this will be a permanent change. Cinders are free, while salt costs about $60 per ton. The city sets aside $630,689 for snow removal materials.

The city is also looking into using beet juice to fight off snow and ice.

Have you noticed a difference in the streets since the city switched to salt for snow removal?

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Rob Weir February 12, 2010 | 11:16 a.m.

I'm a huge fan of the switch. The salt is significantly easier to clean out of my garage and off my driveway than cinders are.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 12, 2010 | 11:48 a.m.

Having lived more than 40 years on the east coast, I was surprised to find Columbia dirtying up its roads with cinder soot as if it work wonders in melting ice and improving traction.
Funny how driving down Rangeline as a spreader passed me by and I was sprayed with, for the first time in a long time, the sprinkling of glorious salt.
Considering the few times a year road conditions are so bad in Columbia and given "we" spend money on so many other things, salt provides the melting power. Coupled with good driving habits, this will improve road safety.
Thank you Jason Thornhill, etc.

(I grew up with salt.
Now I have hypertension.)

(Report Comment)
charles McClain February 12, 2010 | 3:51 p.m.

Thank you, Jason Thornhill!

(Report Comment)

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