Southbury Scrambles for Salt Ahead of Storm

As winter grinds on, the state is bracing for more snow to come, and one town has found itself short on salt days before another storm is set to arrive.

"The town is basically out of salt and is therefore not prepared for future storms, and we have one coming this weekend," explained Southbury Selectman Ken Korsu.

Voters at a special meeting Thursday night chose to move $125,000 from reserves to the Salt and Sand Fund, which had an original budget of $225,000.

"It's the same calamity we had last year at this time. We had to do the same thing, so I don't know if it's a planning deficiency or a factor of worse storms," said Korsu.

Korsu said officials are concerned that trucks carrying salt may not arrive in time for a storm that could make a big impact early next week. Southbury will send its own trucks to gather the material if need be.

If the area continues to collect snow like it has over the last three weeks, officials may need to move more money to the Salt and Sand Fund. The board says it may also need to transfer funds to account for overtime hours.

Korsu said he hopes the town will adopt a strategy the Department of Transportation uses for dealing with winter storms by pre-treating the roads with liquid material. He said the method would save money on both salt and overtime.

Meanwhile, New Haven has already posted a parking ban in an effort to whittle down snow mounds before the next storm arrives.

"I think they may have to use dynamite to get rid of some of the snow," said Daniel Mark Epstein, who is visiting New Haven from Baltimore, Maryland.

Earlier in the day crews posted "No Parking" signs on several downtown area streets so the Department of Public Works could continue removing the packed snow piles from 11 p.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday.

"I think that's great. I think they need to do that. I think they need to do that earlier," said New Haven resident Michael Clinton. "I live down in the East Rock section, and we always have a problem with people not moving their cars and not being able to clean the snow around them."

On top of the snow to come, Friday morning may be the coldest of the season. There's no mistaking winter may have started out slow, but it's now packing a punch.

"It's bone chilling and a little bit frightening. If it got much colder, I might not be able to speak. My lips would freeze up," said Epstein.

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