Mayor says Carmel prepared for snow


Last year, Central Indiana saw around 27 inches of snowfall – the most since 2003. Carmel Schools had to call three “snow days” that year.

While nobody can predict what will happen his year, the City of Carmel is making sure it has plenty of salt on hand to be prepared for this year.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the city usually have about two years’ worth of salt on hand at a time. Carmel Streets Department uses up about half and replaces the other half when prices are low to stay prepared. But in 2013-14, things were different.

“Last year we used double what we normally use and we actually bought some in the spring when we were out,” Brainard told Current. “We buy it when it’s cheap.  I try to have about a year in reserves. You can hold it in cash, but I think it’s smarter to hold it in salt.”

Carmel has 5,600 tons of salt on hand for this winter, some of which is left over from last year. Salt prices previously jumped from $77 per ton to $79 per ton.

Last year, Brainard said the rough winter caused several chuckholes throughout town, necessitating an extra $700,000 to be moved from the city’s Rainy Day Fund for road repairs. Some city councilors, such as Rick Sharp, who is considering a run for mayor, said they didn’t think winter was to blame. He said ignoring the city’s roads was the actual culprit.

According to Dave Huffman, director of the city’s street department, there were been 68 pot holes reported in May 2014 compared to 37 in 2013.

Brainard feels that Carmel’s roads are in great shape currently. In fact, there’s even talk of resurrecting the old program where if you could find a pothole somewhere in Carmel that wasn’t already reported then you would win a reward, usually a free month on a certain utility bill.

Sharp tells Current that he’s not surprised because roads always seem to get repaired right before an election.