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Salt Supplied In Face Of Shortage

Salt used to melt ice and snow from the roadways has become a hot commodity in Farmingdale—as in most of Nassau County—even after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an extra 400 tons would be shipped to Long Island to combat future snow storms. This winter,

New York has used over 46,000 tons of salt in less than two months time, according to state officials. Whereas, on average, the state only uses 30,000 tons per year. 

 

Farmingdale village officials found themselves in a bind following the snowstorm on Feb. 14, when foremen with the Department of Public Works reported that the village had run out of salt.

 

“That Thursday night, we had used [our salt supply] all up,” said Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand. 

 

Faced with yet another impending snow storm, the village swiftly telephoned state Sen. Kemp Hannon, who was able to help the village get the additional salt it needed. 

 

“When the mayor called me, he said they were down to their last scoop of salt,” Hannon said. 

 

Working with the senator, the village was able to secure an allocation of approximately 35 to 40 tons of salt from Gov. Cuomo, which local officials say will carry the village through the next three snow storms. 

 

“That was a godsend,” Ekstrand adds. “We are using our salt as prudently as we can, because we don’t know when we are going to get more.” 

 

According to Ekstrand, the village will go through an average of 20 tons of salt during a snow storm. He added that this is primarily due to hilly areas in their jurisdiction, such as Lenox Hill, which needs to be salted and then resalted to be sure the roads are safe.  

 

“[Superintendent Andy Fisch and the DPW] do their best,” said Ekstrand, “but it’s become a never ending battle to remove the snow off of Main Street.”

 

Ekstrand also acknowledged that because the salt is corrosive to the pavement, the amount of salt that has been needed to melt the ice and snow has also caused fair number of potholes along many of the village’s major thoroughfares.