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Breezy to purchase new brining equipment

Breezy Point residents can expect to see more brine put down on the streets this winter to combat snowfall and ease the chores of the plows.

The city council unanimously voted to purchase new brining equipment for this winter at its regular monthly meeting Monday, Oct. 1.

Last winter was the first time the city used the brining method. A saltwater mixture is sprayed on the roads before a snowfall, which prevents the snow from sticking to the asphalt. Plows are then more efficient in picking up snow.

The city’s maintenance department had been making the brine by hand, hauling buckets of salt up a ladder to be mixed into a solution. The new equipment will be loaded with salt using a skid-steer, which will be safer.

The city will purchase a demo unit at a $2,000 savings. Though the unit is new, it’s in a style the company will not manufacture. It will carry the same warranty as other units the company makes.

Breezy Point makes the brine at a cost of 11 cents a gallon. Crow Wing County expressed an interest in purchasing the brine. Though the exact amount is not yet known, city administrator Joe Rudberg said it could be purchased for 65 cents to 85 cents a gallon.

Council member Tom Nelson pointed out that using the brine not only makes snowplowing easier, but saves on the use of sand and gravel, and consequently the cleanup of that gravel in city gutters.

The company selling the equipment is allowing the city to pay in January, so the money for the brining equipment will come out of the 2013 budget. The cost for the new equipment is $6,950.