LETTER: To ash or not to ash

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I have followed the one sided conversation of Spencer County road deicing with a jaundiced eye. To me it is much ado about nothing (with attributes to Shakespeare).
I say this because of personal experience living with snow in seven different states. Growing up in California and skiing for years in Donner Pass (30-50 feet of snow fall per year) provides the first point. In the 70’s salt use was stopped because the vegetation along the roads was dying. Cars were suffering from accelerated rust. Surface water was claimed to be contaminated. Sand was substituted (and still used). Interesting enough the sand is very effective at removing paint from the forward facing surfaces of vehicles. Windshields do not fare much better.
For 8 winters my wife and I lived in Upper Michigan (in the snow belt but only 169 inches of snow per winter). The state of Michigan used salt. Some clumps were so large that they would dent car bodies and break windshields (had that happen to me). The salt rusted out body panels, fuel lines, brakes, brake lines, gas tanks and any other iron based (read steel) car components. Interesting enough in long winters the county ran out of money for plowing and so stopped plowing Friday afternoons and restarted early Monday morning. Anyone believe that it stopped snowing on the weekend? The residents on our road contracted for snow removal ourselves.
We were in the Twin Cities for two winters. There some sort of liquid was sprayed on the primary roads at the fall of the first flake. This gave in my opinion a mixed result. The liquid splashing on the cars became like molasses which had to be washed off several times a week. Secondary city streets were NOT deiced just plowed after the snow fall.
At this point we have been in Kentucky for two winters. (I have left out winters in VA, PA and DE). Spencer County has done a very credible job during this winter from my experience. Having experienced several other deicing systems, I find the cinders to be one of the least objectionable. It is cost effective, deices well and reviewing the recent article in the Magnet meets or exceeds government standards.
One solution for those who object is to do what my neighbors and I did in Michigan: Contract snow removal ourselves. This solves two problems the complainants have: 1) control of the materials used, 2) meeting their personal snow removal needs.
There is NO reason to burden the remainder of the taxpayers in the county with the cost of a deicing pet project of a few residents. Those who feel otherwise could get together and write a check to the county for the difference in the deice systems thus meeting their demands without impacting the remainder of the residents who are satisfied with the system in use today.

William J. Rutherford