Omer makes frugal plans for salting city roads
OMER — The Omer City Council discussed methods of keeping city roads clear with a limited amount of salt at its Dec. 27 meeting.
Omer City Councilman Larry Daly said the city does not have enough money in its budget to salt all of the icy roads in the city through the winter, though he pointed out some would need it.
Daly said the city has 50 bags of salt stocked, which he believed should last the city through February. He explained that Omer has never had enough money to salt all its asphalt roads, and generally sticks to intersections off of the highway and dead ends.
He added since most roads in the city are only a few hundred feet long, most cars do not go fast enough for the lack of salt to be a major problem. Dirt roads are simply scraped off, and sand or a salt/sand mixture is used to melt ice if necessary.
When there is freezing rain and very icy roads, however, Daly said the city will salt all of the roads at that point. If it is primarily snow, the DPW will scrape the roads clear.
With winter conditions just beginning to make an impact in Arenac County, however, he was not sure if all the roads need the ice scraped off just yet.
“I don’t know if they need to be scraped, but if they aren’t scraped, then we should at least scrape the intersections going out on the highway and put a little salt on them,” Daly said. “We’re not gonna salt all the streets unless you up the budget another $5,000.”
The council also discussed the effect the winter conditions are having on city streets.
Daly said due to the rain and snow, potholes are forming on Michigan Avenue and Wall Street. He said with the cold weather, the city would need to rent a heater from the county to patch the asphalt streets.
Money to rent the heater would come from the city’s major and local streets fund, and Daly said the Department of Public Works (DPW) would just need to get in touch with him to let him know when to rent the heater.
However, Daly told the Independent with the snow and ice over the past few days, the DPW may be unable to patch the roads until spring.