TICONDEROGA - Clearing Ticonderoga roads of snow is an expensive business.
The town spent more than $50,000 to deal with snow on roads in the month of January alone, according to Arthur "Pat" Morrison, Ti highway superintendent.
Ticonderoga received 42.4 inches of snow in January, according to the National Weather Service in Burlington, Vt. The area had gotten 71.6 inches of snow through January.
Local highway department workers logged 516 hours of overtime in January, costing the town about $13,000, Morrison reported.
The town crews used 550 tons of salt in January at a cost of $37,680.50, Morrison said.
Those numbers are actually good news, Morrison said.
The Ti highway department is within its budget and a recent test proved successful, cutting down on salt use.
"The test we ran with Magic Salt I consider a success," Morrison said. "Our village (hamlet) trucks were seeing immediate results varying from 40-50 percent in usage. The price of diesel (fuel for trucks) remains under what we budgeted, we had some down time with a couple trucks that was an inconvience and costly, but other than that I think we're in good shape.
"Just keep your fingers crossed and hope the weather stays in our favor," he said.
Magic Salt, magnesium chloride, is an ice melting product. According to the manufacturer, snow will "burn off" with no plowing. It works faster and lasts longer, saving as much as 50 percent in salt use, the manufacturer claims, and is environmentally friendly.
The material is added to existing salt supplies and no new equipment is needed.
Magic Salt starts out as ordinary rock salt, which is then treated with a liquid, agricultural by-product. It is distilled and blended with magnesium chloride.
The material is applied to bulk rock salt stockpiles, making it more efficient in clearing roadways, according to the manufacturer.