Road Salt Award Surprises County

Lambton County Council is concerned about a court ruling on the use of road salt that has potentially far-reaching implications.

A Brooke-Alvinston farmer was awarded over $100,000 in the Superior Court of Justice last Friday for property devaluation and crop losses.

The lawsuit was related to the county’s use of salt to melt ice on Nauvoo Rd. that runs by the farm of Joseph and Evelyn Steadman.

County Solicitor David Cribbs says the municipal act requires road authorities to salt and sand their roads.

He says there could be an appeal of the decision or political action taken seeking exemptions from such court action.

County councillors have directed staff to circulate the precedent-setting decision to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Ontario Good Roads Association.

County Infrastructure General Manager Jim Kutyba says the county exposes itself to greater liability if it doesn’t put salt down on roads.

Salt is still considered the most effective way to treat road surfaces during winter and Kutyba says its use is managed much better than it used to be.