MCOG dis­cusses sav­ing money on road projects

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - LOCAL - BY JIM DINO STAFF WRITER Con­tact the writer: jdino@stan­dard­ 570-5013585

Area mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties can save money on road projects by buy­ing equip­ment jointly and shar­ing man­power, Dan Guy­dish, the di­rec­tor of the Moun­tain Coun­cil of Govern­ments, said.

For the last two months, mem­bers of the lo­cal govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion have been dis­cussing co­op­er­a­tive road and street main­te­nance.

“As we all know, the costs of road work are high,” Guy­dish said. “We talked about how it would be ben­e­fi­cial if we could get some mu­tual as­sis­tance with equip­ment and man­power for per­form­ing some of our mu­nic­i­pal roadwork.”

In the last two months, MCOG mem­bers have been dis­cussing the pos­si­bil­ity of jointly pur­chas­ing and us­ing a road paver and other street equip­ment, Guy­dish said.

At the next meet­ing, Fri­day at 8:15 a.m. at the Greater Hazleton Cham­ber of Com­merce, Guy­dish said mem­bers will de­cide if they will ap­ply for the grant to buy equip­ment they will jointly use.

“There is the prospect that a num­ber of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties can get an LSA (Lo­cal Share Ac­count, or gam­ing) grant to try to get one of two pieces of equip­ment,” Guy­dish said.

“We are go­ing to meet next week to try to get prices on equip­ment that would give is an idea what they will cost, and see if we could pur­sue that equip­ment.”

Greg Gulick, an MCOG mem­ber who works with mu­nic­i­pal govern­ments in the Wilkes-Barre area, gave the coun­cil a suc­cess story of get­ting a grant for equip­ment.

“They did a road they got a $40,000 bid on for only $8,000 through shared equip­ment and man­power,” Guy­dish said.

One mu­nic­i­pal­ity would ap­ply for the LSA grant and then oth­ers would join to­gether to share the cost. That’s what the Car­bon County Coun­cil of Govern­ments did in pur­chas­ing a street sweeper.

But the MCOG go­ing af­ter a street sweeper may be im­prac­ti­cal, Guy­dish said, be­cause of new fed­eral reg­u­la­tions.

“The EPA (fed­eral En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency) is re­quir­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to do more street sweep­ing to take the strain off storm drains,” Guy­dish said. “We might have to do it so of­ten it may not be a good idea to share a street sweeper.”

In the past, the MCOG pur­chased a sewer cam­era and a tar ket­tle, and shared in its cost and use. The sewer cam­era “out­lived its use­ful­ness,” but the MCOG still has its tar ket­tle avail­able to lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, Guy­dish said.

In the in­ter­est of shar­ing man­power, Guy­dish has asked the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties for up­dated lists of the equip­ment they have that they could share.

“We are look­ing to up­date our equip­ment shar­ing abil­ity,” Guy­dish said. “If there is an emer­gency in one mu­nic­i­pal­ity and they need some­thing, we will have a mas­ter list where to go to see if a neigh­bor­ing mu­nic­i­pal­ity can help out.”

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