The standard procedure for snow and ice control of the roads maintained by the City of Elkins is to plow all streets and alleys and treat intersections, turns and hills with salt. The reasons why all street surfaces are not treated is both fiscal and environmental. As we work now, a treatment run takes around two hours and uses two to three tons of salt. In a normal winter, we use around one-hundred twenty-five tons of salt, costing $12 – $15,000, depending on salt prices. If we were to treat every foot of all streets we would have to put at least one additional truck on the road with a spreader, and our salt consumption would likely quadruple. Considering the manpower and salt, the cost of treating the streets, not including the larger effort of plowing, would quickly reach upwards of $100,000 annually. Further, the addition of this much salt to our sewer system would have a significant impact on our wastewater plant treatment process. In short, what we’re doing now is more environmentally friendly, cost effective and seems to work for the vast majority of folks who travel our streets.
Please be safe and curteous when traveling on any snow or ice affected roads. For information on state maintained roads throughout West Virginia, go to WV 511.