Low-salt "diets" to stretch road salt

Many Indiana towns and counties are facing salt shortages.
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Road salt is leaving a bitter taste for road-cleaning budgets.

"The 2,500 tons we have on hand was a re-order we just recently got and we have a request out for some additional salt," said Fishers Public Works spokesperson Autumn Gasior.

Fishers is not alone.

"We're having to go to vendors in Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio. All over the country to get creative," said Stephanie Wilson with the Department of Public Work in Indianapolis.

In January alone, Indianapolis DPW used as much salt as it used all last winter. Lebanon nearly exhausted its salt budget and INDOT has dropped a quarter-million tons of salt already.

Demand is pushing some salt prices up 100 percent.

"It's a little tough. It's certainly a seller's market," said Gasior. "Whatever the market price is, we have to contend with it."

Eyewitness News found taxpayers understanding the costs and supply issues. Russ Love says "it's been sort of an unprecedented winter. Ran short. Doesn't really surprise me."

Indy will only drop salt on spots that really need it, not just spread it everywhere. Fishers crews will not salt big parking lots at Hamilton Southeastern schools, the town says.

"As long as the buses can get into the school alright, I think that would be okay," said Don Oldham, a student's father.

The city will salt school entrance roads and bus and parent pickup and dropoff zones. Still, one mom was concerned.

"The whole back parking lot...I drop him off early in the morning. It's still dark and ice all over there too," she said.

Still, low-salt diets are on the menu now.