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A front end loader fills a Washington County tandem truck with road salt Friday morning, March 7, 2014. Washington County started out with 12,000 tons of salt and now has 1,000 tons left. ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS/John Doman

Minnesota winter depleting road salt supplies; cities add sand to mix

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By Bob Shaw

Minnesota’s roads may be going on a low-salt diet.

After a brutal winter, supplies are running so low that many cities are starting to cut their salt use by mixing in sand.

If March brings another snowstorm or two, salt supplies could run out — and cities will be forced to buy salt that is almost four times more expensive. That and mounting overtime costs are making this winter a contender for yet another record — most expensive.

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