City stockpiles winter sand and purchases new equipment
The City of Elliot Lake has been preparing for winter road maintenance, stockpiling 3,500 cubic metres of sand and purchasing a new piece of equipment.
Two bids were received for the tender released by the city regarding their annual sand purchase. Wendell Farquhar Trucking won the bid with an offer of $20 per cubic metre.
In total, the contract amounts to $70,000, a figure that was included in the 2018 city operating budget.
The contract provides for the “screening, treating, remixing and stockpiling” of the winter sand, a report from the city’s public works explains.
The sand will be stored at the public works storage yard located on Highway 108, near Esten Drive North.
Council voted to approve this decision at its Oct. 9 last meeting.
At that meeting, Darryl Halloch, public works director, also brought up the need for a new front-end loader.
Halloch explained that the city currently owns two frontend loaders, the smallest is stationed at the public works yard and used to load trucks with sand and salt.
“It is too old and tired to help with snow removal,” Halloch clarified.
This unit has been in service since 1991 and has 5,736 hours on it. There are “numerous” hydraulic related issues with the machine, and although functional, a full repair would “far exceed” it’s value.
The second unit is used to remove snow throughout the city. Although a newer model, this 2012 Cat has 6,000 hours of use with a shorter life expectancy “due to the fact it is used annually to clear large amounts of heavy snow,” particularly large snowbanks, and the banks along city streets.
For the past few winters the city has been renting a loader to help with snow clearance at a cost of $20,000 per year.
The new Cat 930k, would eliminate the need to rent, and as it tips the scales at 1,000 pounds heavier than their current loader, “it is a more suitable and safe option to run the snow blower attachment” used for cutting back snowbanks.
Toromont is the local Cat dealer, and halloch emphasized they have “always provided excellent service” to the city’s public works department if there were any issues with the machines.
The cost of the new frontend loader is $226,500. The 2018 budget allocated a total of $100,000 to replace the front-end loader, so the purchase is $126,500 over budget. Currently, there is a total of $1,095,000 in the city’s fleet reserve.
moreover, halloch told council, the rental fee over the next six years will almost cover the overage, a point picked up by the city’s Cao dan Gagnon, who mentioned the city would reallocate that money back into the fleet reserve.
The purchase of the new loader would also extend the working life of the two currently operated by the public works.