CHAMPAIGN — As one winter season closes, the city is planning for the next.
On Tuesday, the last official day of winter, the city council will be asked to approve the purchase of $175,000 worth of road salt for next year. That would be $210,000 less than what they approved at this time last year, after one of the snowiest seasons taxed a dwindling supply.
The city council will meet on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.
City officials were able to rebuild their salt supply with last year's large purchase, but a mild season this year left them with a large surplus.
Plow crews dumped 4,800 tons of salt last year, when winter produced about 41 inches of snow. They only used 2,336 tons this year after a winter that produced only 13.5 inches.
If approved, the bill would actually allow them a range within which to work. By approving a $175,000 expenditure for 2,500 tons of salt, they can actually purchase anywhere between 80 to 120 percent of that.
City officials say they actually plan on buying the minimum — 2,000 tons of salt at $140,000. But if next winter produces another particularly snowy season, they are guaranteed up to 3,000 tons to add to the 3,800 tons they already have stored away.