Suffield has a new salt shed to make winter roads more bearable this year

Suffield’s new salt shed on state Route 43 across from the road department’s red V-plow. Michael Indriolo/ThePortager
Suffield’s new salt shed on state Route 43 across from the road department’s red V-plow. Michael Indriolo/ThePortager

Suffield has a new salt shed to make winter roads more bearable this year

Officials are stockpiling road salt to be less dependent on state supplies

Suffield’s first-ever road salt shed, completed last week on state Route 43, will make the township more self-sufficient when it comes to clearing ice and snow this year.

The shed, which holds up to two and a half years’ worth of salt, will allow the township to stockpile its own road salt to supplement supplies from the state. It will come in handy during winter storms when salt runs short, said Suffield Road Supervisor David “Pete” Einloth.

Each spring, municipalities across Ohio request the salt they’ll need for the following winter from the Ohio Department of Transportation. But predicting how much to request can be difficult, he said, so having a stockpile within Suffield ensures the township will have all it needs to clear roads more quickly when unexpected winter storms strike.

“You want to be prepared because, when Mother Nature starts, sometimes she doesn’t shut it off,” Einloth said.

ODOT requires municipalities to purchase at least 90 percent of the salt they request, so even if they don’t use that much (in the case of a mild winter, for example) they still have to pay for the salt and its storage. Now, Suffield will be able to store all its salt order in advance, ducking storage fees and conserving excess supply for future winters.

Suffield Trustee Chairman Jeff Eldreth spearheaded the $130,000 project, financed by the township’s road fund.

“I became a trustee five years ago, and that was my plan to get a salt shed for the road crew,” he said. “It took me five years, but it finally came to fruition.”

The city purchased the land about a year ago and began filing paperwork for construction last spring. Construction began in December, Einloth said, and the shed was finished about two weeks later. It received its first load of salt this week.

“The road crew over the last 25 years have been wanting a salt shed that they could put their year’s supply in,” he said. “I’m very grateful that we’re able to do it.”

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Michael Indriolo is a visual journalist based in Kent. He is a contributor at The Portager covering a range of topics, including local government and community.

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