2013-08-29 / Front Page

Council OKs $450K for equipment

Town to buy trucks, trash compactor and excavator
By Margo Sullivan

Jamestown will move forward with plans to equip the Public Works Department with new heavy machinery, the Town Council decided at its Aug. 19 meeting.

The decision is based on the sixyear capital improvement plan. Starting in 2014, the town will set aside $90,000 each year for the next five years for new equipment, according to Town Administrator Bruce Keiser. The first phase calls for replacing two aging trucks and adding another truck to the fleet with a sander that will treat roads during winter storms.

Also, Keiser said there are three other pieces of heavy equipment as part of the first year’s acquisitions: a new chipper, new trash compactor and mini excavator.

In a formal resolution, the councilors directed the purchasing agent to solicit proposals for a fiveyear lease. They also authorized the finance director to advance funds from the general treasury to acquire the equipment. The bid is not to exceed $450,000.

Most of the projected cost was anticipated earlier during discussions on the capital improvement plan, Keiser said. The plan was to bank $90,000 annually for five years, starting in the 2014-15 fiscal year, to cover the lease plus interest. However, the expectation now is the bids may come in some $50,000 higher than originally expected. This means the annual appropriation could total $98,235, instead of $90,000.

“This projection assumed an equipment purchase of $400,000 at 3.5 percent interest rate,” said Keiser, but the total for all six machines is now anticipated to be $450,000. “The additional $50,000 request would boost the budget commitment by $8,235 annually.”

Keiser said residents will vote on the spending package at next June’s Financial Town Meeting, and the first lease payment would be due after July 1.

Most of the new items will replace existing machinery that is not reliable. Some of the machines are used on a daily basis, Keiser said, and they repeatedly fail.

The three trucks will include a replacement six-wheel dump truck for $130,000, a new pickup truck for $40,000 to replace the 2005 pickup that was being used for plowing, and a one-ton dump truck with a sander for $80,000. The one-ton dump truck will be a new addition to the town’s fleet.

The town is currently using a utility truck to plow the streets downtown, Keiser said. “The truck does not have the capability of sanding and salting the roads, and the winter conditions are taking their toll on the truck’s body.”

The last time the town invested in trucks and other heavy equipment for the Public Works Department was in 2006, he said, and those vehicles are wearing out.

Also, the department needs a new brush chipper for $50,000. According to Keiser, the town has one brush chipper that is approaching 20 years old. The machine has been used extensively to clean up after tropical storms and blizzards, he said.

For digging projects, the department has requested a mini excavator for

$50,000.

The excavator will be a new addition to Jamestown. In the past, Keiser said the town has rented excavators for various projects. The mini excavator is for better productivity, he went on to explain.

“It is a piece of equipment that will allow us to work more efficiently downtown in tight spaces for drainage and utility work,” he said.

In addition, a new $100,000 trash compactor is on the list to replace the older compactor at the transfer station.

According to Keiser, the town currently has two trash compactors for the transfer station, one purchased in 1998 and the second in 2000.

“The body of the older compactor is rotting to the point where it is unsafe to transport,” he said. “The compactor piston and blade is wearing through the body.”

The Public Works Department wants the equipment delivered by the spring, Keiser said, and since there is usually a six-month lag time between the order and the delivery, he recommended the councilors act now to authorize going out to bid.

In other business, the councilors awarded the bid for an emergency generator transfer switch at the Town Hall to Jack’s Electric. Town Engineer Michael Gray recommended the award, which is not to exceed $36,800.

According to Gray, the switch is in preparation for a possible winter emergency. The councilors did not approve the purchase of a new generator for Town Hall, Gray said, but the new switch will allow the department to rent a generator and connect it to the town offices. The generator could be connected to an outside plug, Keiser said.

Gray explained in a staff report that the work “involves the temporary disconnection of power to the building for installing a new transfer switch so that a generator can provide electricity to the building in the event of an emergency.”

He indicated the plan was to consult with the town’s information technology consultant to avoid any disruption with the room that houses the computer server.

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