MCOG discusses saving money on road projects
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.”