Norwalk plans to order more road salt than years past

Zoe Greszler • Apr 9, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Norwalk city council will discuss putting its road rock salt out to bid for the next winter season during tonight’s work session.

Public works director Josh Snyder said the city intends to purchase more than it has the past couple years.

“We’re planning on ordering 1,300 tons,” he said, adding the city ordered about 1,100 and 1,000 the previous two years respectively. “How much we order is just based on how much we used and how much we have the capacity to store.”

Snyder said the city keeps about 400 tons in storage on Woodlawn Avenue, but after this recent winter season, Norwalk had to dip into those reserves a little bit.

“It just depends on how bad of a winter it is and then how much we have to dip into our reserves then — that determines how much we order,” he said said. “We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had some mild winters, but this past winter was a pretty good one and we had to use a little more (salt). So that’s why we had to order a little more this year. 

Snyder said he wasn’t sure what price the city would be offered once the order goes to bid, but said that participating in the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) winter contract gets Norwalk more bang for its buck. The contract allows a bigger order to be placed since “many, many” other agencies, cities, municipalities and even ODOT itself order together to get a lower price. 

“We have some more buying power that way with ODOT,” he said. 

Also, it’s possible council will hear from Norwalk Law Director Stuart O’Hara regarding the use of city-issued vehicles — a discussion which began at last week’s regular session. O’Hara told council then that he would bring back research on the policy and procedures on the matter and whether Mayor Rob Duncan was able to use the vehicle as he reportedly has been.

Councilman Jordy Horowitz told council last week he had complaints from residents that Duncan reportedly had been using the vehicle “for personal use,” including “working out at the rec center.” The mayor denied an allegation he used the car to put out campaign signs. 

On the agenda also to be discussed tonight is a 30-day contract extension for the emergency medical services (EMS).

Norwalk Safety-service Director Ellen Heinz said the extension will allow the parties to hammer out the last few details, which may require more time than what originally was planned. The 30-day extension will allow the city and North Central EMS, a Fisher-Titus-affiliated service, to continue working together under its current agreement.

“It’s just asking for the current contract to be extended while renewal contract process is finalized,” Heinz said. “Negotiations are going well.”

She said the short extension request is “fairly standard” and the extra time will allow an agreement to be reached that is best for all involved. 

The council meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. today at the Norwalk municipal courtroom.

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