New Canaan is one of the only municipalities in the state that doesn’t have a dedicated structure for storing road salt, public works officials say.
The town had one prior to its move from a Lakeview Avenue property to the tipping floor of a former incinerator building at the dump, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann.
“The situation that we have is less than optimal as far as safety and then operationally,” Mann told the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting, held Nov. 2 via videoconference.
“We have been looking to try and replace that or install it for 20-plus years now,” he said.
The comments came as the selectmen approved an agreement with Morton Salt for the purchase of up to 3,000 tons of treated road salt for this winter. (That would come to about $188,000 in all, though New Canaan at the outside expects to buy about half that amount, officials said.)
According to Mann, a $500,000 earmark for purchase of a salt “dome” or “barn” has been moved for more than a decade to the third outlier year in the fluid Five-Year Capital Plan.
“We would like to move that forward,” he said. “We think it’s a welcome adjunct, and then the area in concern, the area of the incinerator, we can either reuse or actually move the incinerator and use the area for different operations of the Transfer Station.”
Regarding the salt purchase, the selectmen asked whether unused salt can be used down the road (yes), how much salt is used each year (typically about 1,000 tons though last winter was “soft” at 800) and how much can be stored in New Canaan at a time (1,600 tons, and Morton Salt will replenish the pile when it gets down to about 300 or 400 tons).
First Selectmen Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the Morton agreement, as well as a separate $5,762 contract for de-icing liquid that gets added to the salt itself.