The village of Fayetteville has entered an agreement with the city of Syracuse to share the village's salt brine supply to prevent the roads from icing up during the winter months. The one-year agreement was put into effect in early February.
Salt brine is a rock salt and water mixture consisting of 23 percent salt that is sprayed on the roadways one to three days prior to a winter storm. Once the mixture dries, it prevents ice from forming on the pavement, according to Jim Craw, Fayetteville Department of Public Works Superintendent. Using brine is considered a "green" technology, using 20 percent less rock salt than traditional spreading methods. This preserves salt resources and saves the village thousands of dollars each year.
The Fayetteville DPW has been experimenting with brine for the past decade, and purchased a brine machine in 2005. In addition to the city of Syracuse DPW, Fayetteville also shares brine with the Onondaga County Department of Transportation, New York State DOT, and the village of Hamilton DPW. This year alone, the village produced more than 200 thousand gallons of brine.
Because the brine is considered a shared resource between Fayetteville and the other municipalities, no money is exchanged for its use. Payment comes in the form of fresh rock salt needed to produce the brine. Municipalities that use the brine must also have their own trucks to spread the mixture, and must pick the brine up directly from the village DPW garage.
"The village doesn't benefit from monetary payments, but we benefit from shared knowledge and other municipalities' resources," Craw said. "If we ever have a bad storm during the year, we could call up another DPW that we share the brine with. If we needed other trucks or supplies, they would come help in a heartbeat."
While the agreement with Syracuse is for one year, Craw says it is essentially open-ended, and the city can renew at any time.
Caitlin Donnelly is a regular contributing writer for the Eagle Bulletin.