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   Ledger Sentinel - The local NEWS source in Oswego, Montgomery and Boulder Hill for more than half a century.
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Published each Thursday in Oswego, Illinois 60543
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Please allow extra time and slow down : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Please allow extra time and slow down

In recent weeks public works officials in both Oswego and Montgomery have announced they are attempting to conserve their supply of road salt.

Snow plow drivers in Oswego are now using 100 percent salt applications only on primary streets, at intersections and on selected hills in the village. On the village's other streets, snow plow drivers are now using a mixture of salt and sand, according to Jennifer Hughes, the village's public works director.

In Montgomery, Mike Pubentz, village public works director, announced two weeks ago the village is concentrating its road salt applications on primary streets and making only a single pass on secondary streets per storm.

By limiting their salt usage, both villages are seeking to assure they will have enough salt on hand through the balance of the winter. Oswego, Montgomery and all northern Illinois municipalities are all currently coping with a salt shortage.

The two villages were among 671 Illinois municipalities that annually order their road salt through a State of Illinois joint purchasing program. The program allows the villages to purchase salt at a set price, without having to deal directly with vendors. But this winter's severe weather and frequent snowstorms has caused the previously purchased and delivered salt supplies in most municipalities to dwindle, forcing them to institute conservation measures.

Those same municipalities are finding it difficult to replenish their salt supplies due to the sudden high demand and delivery problems. The salt is shipped to vendors on barges in downstate Illinois but, according to some media reports, sections of those rivers are freezing over due to this winter's extreme cold temperatures, hampering salt deliveries.

In announcing their local salt conservation plans, officials in both Oswego and Montgomery urged motorists to use extra caution while driving on local streets, especially as they approach intersections.

We thought Steve Jungermann, a Montgomery village board member, made an excellent suggestion upon hearing of the village's salt conservation plan during a Jan. 27 board meeting. Jungermann said residents should remember to give themselves some extra time to get to work or whenever they are going. He added, "People are just going to have to drive more carefully. God forbid if we actually drive at or under the speed limit, all be courteous to one another and just take a little longer to get where we need to go. That's how we're going to get through this."


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