Mayor Greg Ballard announced this week that the city’s long-time salt supplier, Cargill, has selected Indianapolis as a pilot city for the new Safe and Smart Program.
Through the partnership, Cargill will donate 125 tons of salt and five Ford-250 trucks equipped with snow plows and salt spreaders over the next five years.
“Our dedicated fleet of 73 snow trucks will be augmented by Cargill’s commitment,” said Ballard. Unlike the larger trucks in the city’s fleet that are suited for clearing main thoroughfares, the F-250s can be used to clear walkways and parking lot areas at charter schools and libraries during severe weather conditions.
In warmer months the trucks will support transit needs for Indy Parks’ Summer Servings program, which provides nutritional lunches to low-income children at 233 sites throughout Indianapolis.
“A key element to the selection of Indianapolis for this partnership is our shared vision of a commitment to the best practices that allow for financially and environmentally responsible snow and ice removal,” said Sean Riley, sales and marketing manager of Cargill Deicing. “With a snow plow fleet that is best in class and a willingness to use new and innovative products that help control costs and the impact to the environment, the choice was a simple one.”
According to a news release, over the past four years the city completely updated and upgraded its snow fleet with newer, better equipment, adding 57 new trucks in 2009 and 2010, six more in 2011, and 10 in 2012. The investment has resulted in faster response times, lowered maintenance costs and, more importantly, safer and snow-free streets for Marion County residents.