City council has been asked to approve the purchase of a new sweeper to replace the existing 2010 Allianz Johnston model. Photo submitted

Breakdown of City’s sweeper has council weighing options

Director of municipal services told council one is available for $276,000

With the City’s only street sweeper unit down since May 10 for repairs and in need of more, public works is asking city council to consider approving the purchase of a new one.

During the Tuesday, June 4, committee of the whole meeting, city council discussed the request with Gary Muraca, the city’s manager of municipal services.

Muraca told council there’s an opportunity to purchase a new one for $276,000, which would be a savings on the regular price of $350,000.

“It’s a timed offer,” Muraca said.

The 2010 Allianz Johnston Sweeper has operated 5,278 hours and since the beginning of 2019, the City’s mechanical department has spent upwards of $25,000 on repairs and is anticipating another $30,000 to $40,000 in repairs before the snow flies.

Reacting to the concern, council assigned the public works committee to discuss the request further and agreed to make a final decision at next week’s regular council meeting.

Coun. Ivan Bonnell, earlier in the meeting, said he is not prepared to start making purchasing decisions that will impact the 2020 budget until council is actually engaged in 2020 budget deliberations.

“I’m letting everyone know I’m not supporting anymore expenditures in 2019 unless I must as a municipal councillor. Anything for 2020 or beyond I am not considering until I receive my full budget book,” Bonnell said.

Last week Bonnell, Mayor Walt Cobb and Coun. Marnie Brenner voted against early budget approval for a new ladder truck for the Williams Lake Fire Dept. The item was approved with votes from the other four councillors.

Read more: Early budgeting approved for new Williams Lake Fire Department ladder truck

Other items on the agenda for the committee of the whole meeting included council renumeration, council’s travel expense and compensation policy and the RCMP’s proposed 2020 and 2021 municipal policing contract.

All of three items were received and deferred to 2020 budget deliberations.

Coun. Scott Nelson said he met with the CAO Tuesday to talk about the next three years in regards to budgets.

“We will be engaging sooner than later in the next 30 days on 2020 budget discussions and the process to get started on them,” Nelson said. “We are going to engage much earlier in 2019 on budget 2020.”

Part of that is looking at putting an equipment replacement bylaw for the long-term in place.

Mayor Walt Cobb said there were a number of reserves in place years ago regarding equipment replacements.

“We used to charge x number of dollars per piece of equipment was used and a percentage went into an equipment reserve. By the end of the five year, ten year, 20 year term that money was in place to replace that piece of equipment,” Cobb said. “We cannot afford to put off these projects.”

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