For a buck, Bob Hodgins improves salt practices
For the past two years Bob Hodgins has moved Smart about Salt (SAS) into the forefront of the winter maintenance industry. And, he’s done it all as a volunteer.
As executive director of the Smart about Salt Council for the past two years, Hodgins has developed and delivered the SAS training program since the program’s beginning. He jokes, “I took on the job for a buck.”
The Smart about Salt program began in the Region of Waterloo where city officials were concerned over rising levels of sodium and chlorides in the municipal drinking water supply. It was among the first large municipalities to take affirmative action. Landscape Ontario also recognized the significance of such a program, and joined with Waterloo to form the Smart About Salt Council. They were soon joined by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Ottawa and Ontario Good Roads Association.
A leader in salt management for over a decade, Hodgins was a natural to take over Smart about Salt. He had earlier helped to design the program with the Region of Waterloo.
“I am committed to making the Smart about Salt program the flagship program for private snow and ice control contractors,” says Hodgins. “Our partnership with dedicated contractors, facility managers and the insurance industry has improved snow and ice control practices, better managed risk, and reduced winter maintenance costs and environmental damage.”
This past winter Hodgins conducted a number of workshops. For snow and ice contractors there is a complete range of certifications, education and training programs skills. “We had a noticeable increase in attendance this year,” says Hodgins.
He hopes to see the certification spread throughout the country. More and more municipalities and corporations are requiring certification in order that service providers may qualify for a contract.
Bob Hodgins is ready to ease back on his duties as executive director of Smart about Salt. “It will be hard to let go,” he says.
No doubt the Smart about Salt Council will find it even harder to let go of the man who as a volunteer brought it so far in such a short time. Leanne Lobe of the Region of Waterloo has taken over the duties of executive director. Bob Hodgins will continue to sit on the
Smart about Salt Council and present workshops.