McPherson County typically purchases brine, a salt solution used to clear roads of ice, from the state of Kansas.
If the county decides to acquire a generator of its own, both the county and the city of McPherson would become self-sufficient.
McPherson County Public Works director Tom Kramer said to county commissioners on Tuesday if a brine generator was purchased, the city of McPherson would consider sharing the cost and product.
Currently, the purchase of brine from the state is dependent on the state’s supply. During an ice storm, for example, the Kansas Department of Transportation will first focus on generating brine from its generator to ensure state roads are cleared of ice. Kramer said the county is secondary, meaning the department will not divert resources to the county until state roads are first taken care of.
Kramer said the purchase of brine from the state may not continue in the future. In this case, he said, an outside source would need to be found.
No agreement is yet in place. Kramer said cost of the purchase would need to be determined before anything is decided.
The county has a 10,000 gallon brine storage tank in a shed behind the county public works administration building. Kramer said the brine generator would be installed next to the tank.
After last weeks storms, Kramer said the tank holds about 3,000 gallons of brine. The county now waits on a phone call from the state for the acquisition of more.
“If a storm happened tomorrow, we wouldn’t be in bad shape, but we wouldn’t be in great shape either,” Kramer said.
In other business, commissioners:
• Approved $25,414 to purchase supplies, parts and material for maintenance on the asphalt plant.
• Allowed public works to advertise bids for its 2013 asphalt oil and hauling program.