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Riverside Board of Trustees discusses road salt options

RIVERSIDE – With more snow and ice expected to hit the Chicago area, it seems as if this brutal winter weather won’t go away.

To make matters worse, a representative from Riverside’s Public Works Department said the department has a limited amount of rock salt because of slow and sporadic deliveries. 

“There could be a limited amount of salt with high demand from other communities,” said Ed Bailey, director of the Public Works Department. “All these other communities are in the same boat. Everyone’s low on rock salt.”

Bailey said public works receives the rock salt through the Illinois Department of Central Management Services Program. He added the department took in 200 tons of rock salt last Thursday and 100 tons two weeks ago. 

“At this point it doesn’t matter; we got all the salt we’re going to get,” said Bailey. “This shortage causes stress and concern that we might run out of rock salt before we run out of winter.”

Bailey said the total amount of rock salt the department has should last until the end of the winter season. But, he said public works will begin to use the rock salt more sparingly.

“We’re only going to salt the main streets and streets with schools, but not residential streets,” said Bailey. “We’re trying to preserve the salt we have.”

Bailey said the department has been communicating with Riverside residents through a broadcast email system, warning them of the salt shortage and urging them to drive safely. 

“It’s been a challenging winter for everyone whether it’s residents or the public works department,” said Bailey. “We’re trying to keep the village clean so people can go about their business.”

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