Too Early For Snow? Litchfield Hill Towns Are Ready

Alcohol Byproduct Could Help Some Towns Break the Road Ice

With snow flurries in the forecast for some Connecticut hill towns this week, communities have taken out their snow preparation checklists.

By Monday afternoon, public works departments in the northwest part of the state were lining up salting trucks in case they had to be called into service. Two truckloads of salt were delivered to the Town of Granby Public Works garage.

In the town of Norfolk, where the leaves on Haystack Mountain are still falling, the talk has turned to winter. The town set aside $142,000 for snow removal this year, First Selectman Susan Dyer said.  Last year, her town of 1,700, went $40,000 over budget on snow removal. 

"Especially for a short period of time, it is our biggest expenditure with salt and sand and overtime," Dyer said. "Storms don't usually happen during business hours."

Norfolk has joined several Connecticut towns in adopting a new method of treating icy roads -- a product called Ice-B-Gone.

"It's a product you put down before the storm," Dyer said. 

Norfolk has joined a consortium of Litchfield hill towns to purchase Ice-B-Gone in bulk. It is an alcohol byproduct that causes ice and snow to sheet off the roadway, Dyer said. It is derived from the fermentation and distillation of alcohol -- notably vodka -- and will allow towns to spend less on salt and sand, Dyer said.

Other Connecticut towns, including Norwich and Stonington, have been using Ice-B-Gone for several years. The Norfolk first selectman said towns save money by using less sand, and that there are fewer road sweepings in the spring.

The town of Granby uses a product similar to Ice-B-Gone, according to public works supervisors.  It is called M-1000, a magnesium chloride additive which is used to pre-treat the roads.  The town has purchased 200 tons of salt for the winter, according to James Klase, Director of the Department of Public Works.

While the community leaders may be ready for the snow, some residents are a bit less welcoming. 

"I'm never ready. I don't like the snow," Norfolk resident Anne Moses said as she ran errands Monday afternoon.

Contact Us