Town of Lake George officials and highway workers were recognized recently for their “best practices” in reducing the use of wintertime road salt while maintaining safe roadway conditions.
The town personnel received the Sustainable Winter Management Program certification from Phill Sexton of WIT Advisors at The Fund for Lake George’s 4th annual Salt Summit held Oct. 3 at Fort William Henry Resort in Lake George.
More than 100 highway superintendents, property managers, entrepreneurs and scientists attended the event.
The town of Lake George has reduced its road salt use by 30 percent over the last two years, according to Eric Siy of The Fund. The environmental group is coordinating an ongoing effort to reduce road salt usage by at least 50 percent in towns surrounding the lake.
Sexton, who holds a Master’s Degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University, has been advising The Fund for Lake George on ways to reduce road salt use in the lake’s watershed.
The town of Lake George’s salt reduction strategies include pre-treating roads with brine in advance of winter storms, using earth-friendly salt substitutes, and equipping its snow plows with high-technology salt-spreading calibration devices and “live-edge” plow blades — which closely follow roads’ contours.
Siy praised the town board for “outstanding leadership” in protecting the environment and the town highway workers for their “day-to-day commitment” to implementing the salt-reduction initiative.
Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said the town officials were “extremely proud” of the efforts to protect Lake George’s watershed and economy.
“Our Highway Department team takes their responsibility very seriously and works very hard to keep our roads safe,” he said, noting that the effort also substantially reduces the expense to taxpayers of de-icing materials.
Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky said that the efforts of the town government in reducing road salt usage have a “meaningful impact” on water quality.
“The town’s highway crew has embraced a new approach to winter road management, and the results are real.”
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