by TONY SCHMITT
DULUTH, Minn.- Although the resolution passed unanimously, a concerned Duluth citizen urged City Council members to reconsider the amount of road salt to buy this winter at Monday night's City Council meeting.
Linda Sellner, who identified herself as a researcher and concerned citizen, asked councilors to re-evaluate and reduce the amount of road salt to be used on this winter. Sellner was concerned about the $772,808.85 contract for the purchase and delivery of road salt from Morton International Inc.
Sellner stressed the consequences of using an excessive amount of road salt. She said her research found that out of the 43 streams in the Duluth area there have been no trout, which could be a result from the overuse of road salt.
For there to be a healthy trout population Sellner explained there must be a ratio of no more then one tablespoon of salt per five gallons of water, and her research shows double the amount of salt is being found in the local streams. Not using road salt above 15 degrees, using brine water as a preventative and plowing and then salting were some solutions Sellner suggested.
In response Dave Montgomery, Duluth's administrative officer, explained that Duluth is trying to reduce its reliance on road salt and is searching for alternatives but when Sharla Gardner, the 2010 City Council vice president, asked what was being done, Montgomery said that she would have to consult those in charge of salting the roads for more specifics.