Piles of Salt.

 

For as long as I can remember International Salt has been a part of Market Street in Portsmouth. Today I’m reading in the Portsmouth Press Herald that the Pease Development Authority has unimously granted a one year contract and four one year options to International Salt to continue its operations on Market Street.  I think this was a good move on the part of the PDA.

As a general rule I try not to deal in rumors. But for the longest time I kept hearing the rumor that the yuppies and the type As in Portsmouth didn’t like looking out the windows at the Sheraton Harborside at the massive piles of salt and foreign flagged vessels offloading the needed white commodity “Hey honey would you like some salt with your caviar?” On this basis I figured it would be a matter of time before the influential and well to do wore down the PDA and forced International Salt to relocate so they could use the pier for one of their approved uses. Basically it would be the golden rule; those with the gold make all the rules. I’m also glad the PDA signed the contract and treated a long-term tenant with respect and this notion that container based cargo has any type of future in Portsmouth is pure fiction. And for whatever its worth I think piles of salt would be better to look at from the tables at the Sheraton than multicolored, rusting containers sitting awaiting shipment to destinations likely outside of New Hampshire.

I also think International Salt has a great deal of potential to expand its markets which would be good for its business and the State of New Hampshire. And this would come from one word.

Vermont.

It’s my understanding from the minutes of the Vermont Rail Council that Vermont is having some real issues in bringing salt into this state. Unlike New Hampshire, Vermont has no access to a port facility and the outside world so it has to rely on mainly rail to bring this commodity into the state. I’m a strong supporter of rail and its capabilities but in the case of Vermont I understand the salt vendor, Cargill Inc. is basically squeezing the state with surcharges in its rail delivery of salt from locations in upstate New York and Michigan. To compound this I understand that when Vermont officials realized that they would have a hard time getting the salt, instead of addressing the issue head on, namely finding alternate suppliers they simply cut the local communities loose and told them that they would have to get road salt on their own!

If this were my call which it isn’t International Salt in Portsmouth would replace Cargill as the salt vendor in Vermont.  The existing faculty on Market Street could be used, as it is now and the salt could be transloaded onto either trucks or railcars for delivery to Vermont.