North Canton sure is putting its brand new salt shed to good use.
That's because the city hasn't used a whole lot of its salt supply this year, despite a couple fairly nasty winter storms.
"The events that really hurt us were the ones we've been having lately where you have a whiteout for an hour, then it's going to be sunny, then three hours later you have another whiteout," said Jim Davis, superintendent of utilities, service and recreation. "Those types of moments are really tough to regulate."
The city started the year with about 3,900 tons of salt, and it used 1,100 tons of salt by mid- to late-February. Now the city is at 2,800 tons.
It stores the salt supply in a new storage building that was completed this past fall at the city's service center. The city replaced the old building because it was deteriorating and unsafe, Davis said.
The new structure, the city's only salt storage shed, can store up to 5,000 tons of salt, while the old building stored between 1,600-1,800 tons.
Like many Northeast Ohio communities, North Canton contracts with the Ohio Department of Transportation to buy salt from area producers at negotiated rates. And each year, city council considers a contract between the city and the ODOT, and the city purchases its salt supply in the spring.
Meanwhile, Davis said the city does its best to save money when it comes to keeping North Canton's roads safe and drivable. A new product called ClearLane helps cut down on the amount of salt used, when salt and ClearLane are used together.
Heading into the end of winter, Davis says it appears North Canton is in the clear, but you can never be too sure.
"I can't tell what Mother Nature's going to do — we might get that 30-year blizzard at the end of March," he said.