However, he discussed the salt situation in response to a magistrate's question during an informal conversation before the meeting and elaborated on it later during the interview.
Boyle County advertised for salt bids in June and accepted the bid from Cargill Co. for $66 a ton, he said.
Under its contract with the Fiscal Court, Cargill has delivered 400 tons of salt from its Jeffersonville, Ind., storage facilities, and it now is stored in the county's salt building behind the Boyle County Detention Center, he said.
The $66 a ton does represent a 30 percent increase over the price the county paid last year, but that per-ton amount is much less than many Kentucky local governments have been paying for their salt, Campbell said.
"Not long ago Harrodsburg City Commission voted to pay $130 a ton for its salt," he said.
Campbell was referring to the Harrodsburg commission's action in mid November to pay $130 a ton for a minimum of 350 tons of salt from Chemical Equipment Labs in Jeffersonville, Ind.
The price is more than double the amount the city paid for the 500 tons of salt it got last year, but it could not obtain salt from the company that had supplied it in the past and efforts to get salt from two other suppliers failed.
Change in suppliers
Danville City Commission also had trouble finding a supplier this year.
The city had to find a new supplier after it couldn't reach an agreement with the company it had used in the past. However, it recently contracted with a Maryland company to provide 100 tons of salt.
Campbell, who has overseen the county's roads and salt supplies for more than two decades in his dual roles as county engineer and public works director, said rock salt prices were high in June when the county accepted the Cargill bid. High gasoline prices significantly increased the cost of transporting the salt from salt mines to salt storage facilities and then on to city and county governments, he said.
"Then the prices really took off and shortages of salt began to accelerate later in the summer because of the effects of two hurricanes and a labor strike in Louisiana," he said.
Campbell said many of the salt companies that supply local governments in this area and the rest of the state get their salt from Louisiana salt mines.
The salt is shipped from those mines to Jeffersonville where it then is hauled to Kentucky cities and counties, he said.
The hurricanes slowed down the mining, and the problem was then compounded by a strike of barge workers, said Campbell.
The double-whammy of the hurricanes and strike resulted in decreased mining and slower shipments for most of the summer and early fall, and those developments resulted in widespread shortages and higher prices during that time, he said.
"While you're never happy to have to pay 30 percent more for something, we are lucky compared to other local governments who either are paying twice what they did last year for less salt or, worse, haven't been able to find any yet," he said.
Campbell said he knew Boyle County was in better shape than other city and county governments in the middle of summer when he read e-mails from officials in various Kentucky cities talking about their problems finding salt.
"Then there was a mass e-mail from one of the big salt companies to local governments warning of a big shortage," he said.
Boyle County was, in effect, able to heed the warning before it was issued by working out its salt contract right before salt supplies really dropped and prices skyrocketed, he said.