The city’s governing body approved two contracts worth $1.1 million to construct a salt storage facility on Montgomery Street earlier in the week.
Approved was an $188,000 contract to Wharton-based Tilcon New York for the “segregation of recyclable materials, rock crushing and site work” at the lot located at the dead end of Montgomery Street. And another contract worth $902,662 was awarded to Newark-based CMS Construction for the building of the salt dome.
City officials, including the public works director, have said this salt storage facility will be advantageous for the city next year. During this and the previous winter the city suffered from salt shortages leaving local streets icy and hazardous.
“I think next year is going to be a totally different picture because we’re going to be able to storage enough salt to cover the city,” said Alex Mendez, councilman at-large, on Tuesday evening.
Mendez, who serves as chairman of the council’s public works committee, prefaced his remarks by stating he received a large number of complaints when city streets remained icy due to lack of salt.
“I hope this helps as far as our salt count is concerned,” said Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman. Manuel Ojeda, city’s public works director, said the salt dome will prevent future salt shortages in the city.
He also said it will include brine tanks allowing the city to adopt a more efficient solution to address frozen road ways.
William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, wanted to know the facility’s capacity, but that information was not available during Tuesday evening’s deliberations.
The clean-up and the construction are being funded through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, according resolutions awarding the contracts. Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, previous raised questions whether federal grant funds can be used for the construction of the salt storage facility.
Morris read out a memo from the city’s Community Development Department director Barbara McLennon which stated United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations permit the clearing and construction of the salt dome using CDBG funds.
Ojeda said the project the salt dome construction is likely to finish sometime in April of this year.