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Salt Shortage Tightens Village’s Belt

Street sand and salt have become hot commodities in New Hyde Park, even after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an extra 400 tons would be sent to Long Island to combat future snowstorms. New York has used 46,000 tons of salt less than two months in 2014, according to New York State officials. The state on average, uses 30,000 tons per year.


New Hyde Park Village officials held a conference call with the state on Tuesday, Feb. 4, discussing the release of additional street sand and salt to local municipalities. The village has used more than 800 tons since the first major storm in December.


Prior to the storm waves, New Hyde Park had 560 tons of salt and sand on hand, which has been depleted.


New Hyde Park has used 117.68 tons of salt and 122.70 tons of sand over the last three snowstorms on 47 lane miles of roadway, dating back to Christmas Eve.


“The logistics of [the state delivery], who’s going to get it; there’s a lot of questions,” said Mayor Robert Lofaro. “The supply of sand and salt on hand has dwindled down to low levels. It seems like every other day, we have another winter event." “I appreciate the work the department of public works is doing and the residents that clear their sidewalks.”


Public Works Superintendent Tom Gannon said New Hyde Park has between 20 and 30 tons of sand and salt left. The village pays $55.55 per ton of salt and $14.48 per ton to Atlantic Salt, a Staten Island-based company.


“We’ve used a lot this winter,” Gannon stated. “One ton of salt is one-yard of salt, 2,700 pounds of sand is one-yard of sand.”


The village is hoping to get more salt and sand to finish the winter with a solid supply and avoid shortages. However, Lofaro said New Hyde Park is just above the safe-zone.


“We’re hoping to get more deliveries,” said Lofaro. “We’re probably in better situations than most and those that need help should get it. It’s been a tough winter.”


Gannon said if the temperature is above 32 degrees, salt and plowing should clear roads effectively. Any lower and freezing should occur.


“I stick with the 50/50 mix because while the salt will melt the snow, the sand will always give you traction even if you don’t hit pavement,” Gannon stated. “If you use straight salt and don’t have the right temperature, it’ll still get icy.”