Mahoning engineer does not expect windfall from salt settlement

Engineers in Columbiana and Mahoning counties are working to make their salt supplies last through winter.
File photo from Feb. 25

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti said he is grateful for whatever amount his agency ultimately receives as part of a huge lawsuit settlement, but he is not thinking it will end up being all that much.

On Wednesday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced he had worked out a deal with Morton’s and Cargill, two of the nation’s largest suppliers of road salt. The companies will pay $11.5 million to cover years of overcharging for the snow and ice melting material.

Ginnetti said he is not sure how the settlement will be shared with literally thousands of local municipal governments, but thinks it won’t cover everything.

“If you divvy it up evenly between the number of municipalities, you are looking at between $4,500 and $5,000. And at last year’s price, that would enable us to buy 34 tons of salt, which isn’t a lot. You are talking three truckloads,” Ginnetti said.

In comparison, Ginnetti said his crews will use roughly 200 tons of salt in just a single snow storm and that would cover all of the county’s 500 miles of roadway just once.

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