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Council sweeps $205,000 street sweeper decision into closed meeting
Update follows original story posted Sept. 10, 4 a.m.
The City of Revelstoke wants to replace its 2005 street sweeper with a 2013 model to the tune of $169,840.
City council was set to discuss the engineering department’s recommendation at their Sept. 10 meeting.
The price of the new Falcon Freightliner M2106 with a Johnston RT 655 vacuum unit is actually $204,840 (before taxes), but the city will earn $35,000 for trading in its current 2005 Elgin Crosswind Regenerative Air Sweeper.
A staff report notes the street sweeper has been “budgeted and scheduled for replacement” this year, but doesn’t make any further case as to why a new one is needed. Absent are arguments about cost-effectiveness, or repair costs; there is a general reference to the city’s purchasing policy.
The city put out a request for proposals for a new street sweeper in August. The recommended model is the second-cheapest of seven bids they received. The bids ranged from (after trade-in) $153,175–$202,708.
City of Revelstoke public works manager Darren Komonoski said that industry standards show that replacing most maintenance equipment such as sweepers “within 8–10 years yield much higher return for trade in or resale.”
He said when machines age, the cost of maintenance can exceed the price of the aging machine.
Revelstoke City Council also recently asked for reductions in street sweeping hours as part of their new ‘restraint’ agenda.
Komonoski said street sweepint has been reduced from two days per week to one. However, that’s dependent on storm and weather activity.
“We continue to double shift the sweeper for the months of April till mid-May for spring clean up,” Komonoski said, adding more sweeping is needed in October and November to deal with falling leaves and extra fall debris.
Update, posted Sept. 11 at 11:50 p.m.
Council sweeps street sweeper decision into closed meeting
What's the decision on the new street sweeper truck? Unfortunately for the taxpaying public, there's a vacuum of information at this point.
The decision was set to be discussed openly at Revelstoke City Council's Sept. 10 regular meeting, but it was pushed into a closed-doors 'in camera' meeting at the last minute.
Council regularly discusses issues in camera, but the private meetings are usually reserved for sensitive items. The in camera rules are laid out in the B.C. Community Charter.
Usually, it's sensitive things like hiring, discipling and firing staff, legal matters, labour relations, police matters and sensitive personal information.
So, what's top secret about buying a truck?
In response to Times Review questions, city CAO Tim Palmer listed two sections of the Community Charter; they cite the following reasons: "the security and property of the municipality," and "litigation or potential litigation affecting the municipality."
He also said a third section could "possibly" apply. It lists, "negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public."
The decision on whether or not council opted to buy a new street sweeper truck will likely emerge in a few weeks, but until then, we'll have to wait.