"We, like everyone else in the commonwealth, are having problems getting salt," said R. Kimbel Colket, member of the Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors.
Due to shortages across the entire state, neighboring townships are competing against each other for available supplies. Prices have increased due to the competition.
Prior to the shortage, the average price was approximately $35 for each ton of salt while it is currently selling at a price of $120 per ton where it is attainable. Each winter storm, typically, requires utilizing 200 tons of salt on roadways.
"It's not our budgeting process that's the problem," said Lee Ledbetter, vice chairman.
"It's the supply," said Colket
Supervisors authorized that salt bids be sent out to the open market. The next barge is expected at ocean port at the end of the month.
Norman Vutz, supervisors' chairman, suggested adding more storage facilities. The township has four bins, each holding 200 to 250 tons of salt. Currently, there are only 100 tons stockpiled.
In other news, construction of a fire company substation is in early stages as a loan bid by Wachovia Bank was approved pending review by the township solicitor. Deadline for construction bids will be in March with a projected start date in May.
Additionally, according to statistics from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Department of Transportation and Game Commission, the deer herd in the Philadelphia area is expected to be 1.5 million this summer. Difficult weather this winter is blamed for a poor hunting season, according to the township's Deer Management Committee.
Possible damage to trees could cause the state to lose its forest certification that would cause the loss of logging funds, according to the Deer Management Committee. The April meeting of the state's game commission sets regulations for the rest of the year on hunting and therefore may present a possible solution.
Continuing an issue of contamination at East Evergreen Drive, the township consulted with residents and the Chester County Health Department. Tested properties were found to have the equivalent of raw sewage contamination from an unknown source.
The Valley Forge Sewer Authority (VFSA), which was also called to investigate, claimed that there were no leaks in pipes nearby, according to a letter to township officials.
"We as a township need to push VFSA to see what's really wrong," said Ledbetter. Lateral pipelines, that run from the main line to individual homes may be to blame, speculated supervisors.
"Before we look for the source, let's see how big of an area we have," said Ledbetter.
Further testing is necessary for township officials and residents to proceed.Officials discuss
road salt shortage