Stark County community deals with difficulties getting road salt delivered

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio - With the bitter cold and snowy winter road, crews in Canton Township have already spent more time this season keeping roads clear than they did all of last winter.

The effort depleted their salt supply. Road Superintendent Jonathan Smith said the community has not been getting deliveries from its supplier.

A delivery of 25 tons, which was ordered on Jan. 17, arrived on Tuesday.

Smith said in one pass over the 200-plus lane miles of road, they will use as much as 150 tons of salt during a storm like the one expected on Wednesday.

He said the township is still waiting on 580 tons of salt that was ordered, but not delivered.

Township Trustee Mark Shaffer said he contacted Cargill, the township's supplier, on Monday to see why they are having difficulty getting their orders filled.

Shaffer said a representative of the company told him the company's Cleveland mine is producing at capacity, but attributed the delivery problems to "supply and demand."

He said the Cargill representative told him, "Everybody is ordering faster than their ability to get it out to them," explaining that there has been a prioritization for communities in the lake effect snow areas.

At risk of running out, Canton Township has borrowed more than 100 tons of salt from Lake Township and  even ordered salt at twice their contract price from a supplier in Pennsylvania.

Smith said he was even able to get a truck of salt that was en-route to another community, which canceled the order after getting their salt from another supplier.

Shaffer said a company spokesman told him their ability to deliver is based on nobody running out and the trustee said he explained that they expect to be out of salt following the storm on Wednesday.

In a written statement to FOX 8 News Justin Barber of Cargill Corporate Affairs said:

"With the number of winter snowstorms recently, Cargill has seen a surge of road salt orders that have temporarily constrained our inventory. We remain committed to supporting our customers throughout the winter months and are working with them to prioritize shipments so that public safety is not affected. We are sorry for any delayed shipments and are working as quickly and safely as we can to produce and ship more product."

Following Shaffer and FOX 8's contact with Cargill, Smith said the company unexpectedly sent three trucks of salt to them on Tuesday.