Experts concerned about shipments of rock salt

Prices of salt nearly doubling

By Lauren Podell - Reporter
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WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. - As kids head back to school after a short summer vacation, another Michigan winter is quickly approaching.

Carefree Lawn Center's Richard Gabri thinks people should start preparing earlier than usual this year.

"I suggest you get your salt early, because if you don't you won't (get any)," Gabri said.

In Gabri's case, he's after rock salt, which has nearly doubled in price.

"I have my shipment in, a lot of it is coming from New Jersey, if it's local I can't touch it," Gabri said.

He has 15 truck loads of bagged salt on order, most of it coming from out of state. Gabri is not alone, the sky high costs of salt are forcing road commissions to change the way they stockpile.

Last year in Macomb Township, the Department of Roads paid $47 per ton of salt. This year, it shot up to $77 per ton. In Oakland County, the commission is expected to see a 25 percent price increase from last year.

Meanwhile, Wayne County has cancelled its early fill order of salt. The price difference shot up from $39 to $74.

"We're going to take a chance," said Wayne County Department of Public Works director of roads Robert Conrad. "It's going to save us $2.5 million."

Why are prices shooting up so high when Michigan is home to one of the biggest salt mines? Because the miens are only working two shifts instead of the normal three to get the salt to the top.

The experts don't know why this is happening, but they're sure it will affect us.

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