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Rapid Citians can expect to see a little less salt on city streets next winter after the city's Public Works Committee approved advertising for bids for a pre-wetting system that is expected to reduce salt use and keep streets safer.

At a cost of $26,000, the city will buy six pre-wetting systems that coat and treat road salt, helping the salt stick to roads with a magnesium chloride solution. The systems can be mounted on existing city trucks. A 1992 study from Marquette University found such systems result in a 30 percent reduction in road salting material costs.

"We would be able to add this system to our fleet to reduce the amount of material used during our snow events," said City Streets Superintendent Dale Pfeifle in a release. "It is anticipated it will assist us in doing an even better job of de-icing the streets and with less product."

The committee also authorized city staff to advertise for bids for an estimated $85,000 project to install sanitary sewer at Saint James Street.

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The project will see the installation of an eight-inch sanitary sewer main in the Saint James Street right-of-way from Mount Rushmore Road to Ninth Street. If approved at the Rapid City Council's July 16 meeting, the project is expected to be completed by mid-November. 

Contact Samuel Blackstone at and follow him on Twitter or Facebook @SDBlackstone.

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City Reporter

City reporter for the Rapid City Journal.