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Regionalized efforts always a good practice

We long have argued in support of regionalized government efforts in the name of cost savings and economics.

Road salt purchases and storage are just another example of a good reason for local governments to work together.

Under Ohio Environmental Protection Agency standards for stormwater runoff, road salt is required to be stored under a roof to prevent excessive hazardous runoff.

Now, some will likely argue that it’s nonsensical for the OEPA to heavily police road salt storage in attempts to prevent hazardous runoff when the salt is going to be thrown onto roadways and parking lots where it certainly will affect the environment. Be that as it may, experts point out that road application and storage differ because runoff from storage in one location has a much greater potential for threat to plants, animals and soils.

Costs for adhering to Ohio’s storage guidelines can be high for local government entities — particularly those that don’t already have a local facility.

That’s why regionalized efforts should be welcomed.

Communities in both Trumbull and Mahoning counties store their massive quantities of road salt in varying locations, this newspaper reported recently. Some have their own salt domes, sheds or lean-tos — but some store it in locations made possible by purchase consortiums.

Consortiums are often most logical because not only is the salt purchased at lower rates due to large quantity of purchases, but because it often does not require construction of individual salt domes.

Hubbard Township, for instance, has considered the need for a designated space to store its salt, but estimates put construction of a salt dome at some $180,000. For now, the township’s salt is stored at a county facility. The county even delivers the salt upon demand for a set fee.

That type of solution may be the most economical because it represents shared services.

After the beautiful, warm fall we’ve been experiencing here in the Mahoning Valley, it may be difficult for most of us to acknowledge that cold weather, snow and ice are quickly approaching.

Yes, winter will be here before we know it. And as local communities prepare, we once again urge them to partake in regional efforts for salt purchase and storage in order to operate with the most efficiency and economies for the taxpayers who ultimately pay the bill.

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