The rising costs of keeping roads safe this winter

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 5:03 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOWN OF ADAMS, New York (WWNY) - Inflation is going to cost towns and villages across the north country more to keep the roads safe this winter.

Town of Adams Highway Department orders around 2,000 tons of road salt each year.

“When I first took over we were paying $55 a ton. Last year we paid $74.19 a ton. This year, we’re $79 a ton,” said Superintendent Rick Walden.

The Lewis County Highway Department is balancing its salt costs too. But with an estimated 100 to 140 trips to plow roads this winter, Superintendent Tim Hunt is worried about the high cost of diesel fuel.

“We’re generally getting about four miles to the gallon when we’re plowing snow. So you can burn a lot of diesel fuel very quickly. That’s going to hurt a lot of towns and a lot of counties’ budgets this year,” he said.

“We set our budgets the year prior. So, it makes it even tougher for us because we got to try and guess what the prices are going to be when we set our budget for that following year,” said Walden.

Walden says it’s to get those numbers right each year. He mentioned that the town of Adams is paying $79 a ton for what it already ordered.

If the town needs more this winter, Walden estimates it could be anywhere from $100 to $110 a ton.