Patton Township, Centre County, Pa- Public works crews agree: a big party of keeping roads safe in winter weather is making sure they’re properly treated, both with brine and salt.
WTAJ spoke with officials from Patton Township to learn how they ensure there’s enough salt for a typical Central Pennsylvania winter.
Patton Twp. officials say they have enough salt to handle the most recent snow event…but to calculate how much they’ll need each year, they look back at history for assistance.
“We budget for the average. We have records going back 15-to-20 years of how much salt we’ve used every year. We average that by lane mile of road… and that’s what we budget,” said Patton Township Manager Douglas Erickson.
Erickson says the township is within the average amount of salt they typically use by this time in February. But, there’s always a possibility for a blizzard to strike… which would force the township to use more salt than their original budget allows.
If that happens, more funds will be pumped into the budget.
“We will do what we have to do to keep the town running,” Erickson said.
But the township hopes that they won’t need to make that decision. Nearly halfway into February, Erickson says the end of the “salt season” is almost in sight.
“We will keep ordering salt until the end of February, we normally know if we have our salt shed full at the end of February, we can get through March,” Erickson said.
He added that the township’s crew knows how to spread the salt effectively and efficiently so that none is wasted.
“We’ve got a full crew, and a pretty experienced crew. They’ve done this before…. we’re late in the season now, everybody knows the drill,” Erickson said.
Currently, Patton Township has between three hundred and five hundred tons of salt.