Cities, counties prepare for more winter weather

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – As we get ready for another blast of winter weather, county and city street and highway departments are gearing up for the next round.

Some departments plan to use more sand than salt this time.

In Shelbyville, 200 tons of salt sit in their salt barn, a number the city’s street commissioner hopes will get them through the rest of the winter. They got a new load in, from a different supplier than usual, a couple weeks ago.

Jennifer Jones, Shelbyville’s street commissioner, says they’ve used more salt this year within a five week time period, than all of last year.

They had to pay $50 more per ton, for the latest shipment. To conserve, they’ve been using more sand than salt on the roads.

“We do a one to one ratio on salt and sand, when we mix it, so we’ve cut back that ratio to 2-1, hoping it’ll last us through the winter,” Jones said.

In Morgan County, salt is very limited, explained emergency management director Jeff Neal. They’ve been waiting for another order to come in.

For now, Neal said the salt they do have will be used on main hills and intersections. Other roads will be plowed and sanded.

“The roads are not going to have that mix of salt and sand, it’s just going to be all sand. Sand still does give grip, but still, people need to use caution,” Neal said. He added, if temperatures are cold enough, the salt won’t help much overnight.

County and city department heads say this winter had also been especially hard on equipment. Some county officials say parts for vehicles have been tougher, and more expensive to find.

Some counties have notification systems, if you are hoping to stay up to date on the exact situation in your county. Click here for a link to Morgan County’s Emergency Notification system. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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