NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – The North American Salt Institute, a non-profit trade association, has cited North Salem as the only New York State recipient of its annual Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award. This year, the Institute honored 146 facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada, 23 of them for the first time.
The award recognizes "environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage of winter road salt."
In the case of North Salem, however, receiving the award has become an annual honor. “We’ve won every year since, at least, 1998,” said Superintendent of Highways Ward Hanaburgh. The plaques are proudly displayed (with room for future awards) in the Highway Department office on the wall behind administrative assistant Gayle Soto’s desk.
“We win the award because of Gayle,” Hanaburgh added. “It’s because of her. She does everything.”
“We buy salt according to the weather,” he explained. “And it depends on the budget, too. We’re lucky we can stockpile it because we have the space.”
The salt shed, on June Road behind Kingsley’s Deli, was built about 1995 and can hold approximately 2,000 tons of salt. Right now, it is about half-full.
Every winter, more than 100,000 Americans are injured and over 1,300 are killed due to snowy, slushy or ice-covered pavements, reports the Salt Institute. A study of highways in the national snow belt shows that road salt reduces crashes by 88 percent.
“The familiar sight of trucks spreading salt on icy winter roads gives motorists reassurance, as it should,” said Institute President Lori Roman.
“If that salt was stored in and spread by a facility honored with our Snowfighting award, motorists have the added assurance of knowing the utmost care has been taken to protect public safety and the environment.”
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