Brainard: Carmel still has plenty of salt

Mayor Jim Brainard (WISH Photo)
Mayor Jim Brainard (WISH Photo)

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – Day after day of cold and snow puts a strain on cities and towns.

Last week, the City of Anderson said it had run out of salt.  In Muncie, the supply was dwindling.

Restoring the supplies there and elsewhere serves as a lesson in the law of supply and demand.

“It’s always cheaper to buy it when you don’t need it than it is when you need it at the last minute,” said Mayor Jim Brainard of Carmel.

This week, Brainard told 24-Hour News 8 his city’s salt supply is “in good shape.” He praised his street commissioner for buying the amount that would be needed for “a tough winter.”

If “we don’t use it, salt doesn’t spoil.  It just sits in the salt barn until we need it.  We always try to keep those salt barns filled.  We are trying to buy some additional salt, this year.  But, we’ve got quite a bit left.”

Brainard said Carmel has three salt barns spread across the city.  Their placement allows drivers to refill their salt trucks more easily and not run with their truck beds empty on the way to get refills.

The Mayor is also pleased to know that, so far, Carmel has come through this winter without many of the problems that are common in such cold conditions.  And, he said streets have been plowed well enough to keep Carmel open.

Brainard said if people can get out, “we ask them to use common sense.  But we’re hesitant to tell people to stay off the roads.”  Telling people to stay home is expensive.  “There’s a huge cost to the business community when a city’s shut down.”

Brainard said the people who work at Carmel’s four hospitals “need to get in and out.”  Plus, he said 43 corporate headquarters call Carmel home “and just because it’s bad weather and snowing and terrible weather in Carmel, Indiana doesn’t mean that they’re not doing business in places where it’s 70, 75″ degrees.  So, he said he wants Carmel to be open for business.

“If you shut down every time it gets cold, you’re not able to do that,” he said.

Is that a swipe at Mayor Greg Ballard of Indianapolis? He told non-essential city personnel to stay home on Tuesday rather than go out in the sub-zero wind chill.

“That’s as far as I’m going [on that topic],” Brainard said.

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