N.J. Store Owner Rolls Dice, Makes Out Like A Bandit

IRVINGTON, N.J. (CBS 2) — So New Jersey has a FEMA declaration, but it may take an act of Congress to find a bag of ice melt.

“Sidewalk salt” is in short supply. Some retailers are completely sold out.

But if you live in north Jersey, you’re in luck. CBS 2’s Tony Aiello found a secret supply that should get you through the winter.

Ken Lagemann was getting ready for the next storm on Friday and wondering where he’ll replenish his dwindling supply of ice melt.

“Supply and demand — we got plenty of demand,” Lagemann said, adding when asked the supply is, “That’s the question!”

It’s a question many are asking after encountering empty pallets at retail outlets.

“I’ve always come here and they always have it, put it right in my car for me. They’re very helpful,” said Norma Auth of Maplewood.

But if you ask for ice melt at a certain Lukoil station and you’ll be told that everything has been sold out for a few days.

This woeful winter means many stores are suffering spot shortages of ice melt. So if you got it, flaunt it.

And when people see a stash at Newark Paint in Irvington, owner Frank Ventre said, “They get right on the cell phone. ‘Hey, I got a place that has ice melt Get down here right away!’”

Ventre agreed to show Aiello his secret — the stash of ice melt to end all stashes of ice melt.

It’s hidden in downtown Irvington and safely under lock and key – a secret trailer filled with thousands of bags of ice melt. Ventre said he purchased it in the fall when he began to anticipate a bad winter.

“It’s called taking a gamble, hoping that it does snow, and if it doesn’t snow, like I said, putting your chips on the line and hoping that it comes true,” Ventre said.

If we see enough winter weather to diminish his stockpile, we’re all in trouble.

Companies that make ice melt said supply is tight, because so much of the country has seen bad weather this winter.

Having trouble find ice melt? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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