City prepares for winter early, eyes snow equipment purchase

August 13, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

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By Tim Pfarr
Last winter, the Pacific Northwest was assaulted by ice, wind and heaps of snow that transformed roadways into treacherous, slippery obstacle courses.
At the time, there were three vehicles working to clear the streets of Newcastle: one belonging to the city and two belonging to the Coal Creek Utility District. However, the district has announced that it can no longer help the city clear the streets in future winters, forcing Newcastle to clear its streets on its own. The city plans to solve this problem by purchasing additional snow- and ice-management equipment.
The city owns one truck that has been fitted with a snowplow, but it plans to purchase enough equipment to have three city-owned trucks ready to clear the streets come winter. The district has offered to sell equipment to the city, and the city plans to take advantage of this offer by purchasing a sander and one of the company’s smaller trucks. This would give the city its second vehicle.
For the third vehicle, the city is seeking to add a large truck that could clear the longer, priority roadways, said Doug Alder, communications manager for the city. For this, he said the city is exploring two options: purchasing a large truck that is already fitted with a plow, blade and sander; or fitting the city’s existing dump truck with a plow, blade and sander.
The City Council also recently voted to allow City Manager John Starbard to enter the city into an intergovernmental agreement for cooperative purchasing with the state of Washington, which would allow the city to purchase equipment for a lower price. However, membership with the cooperative costs $2,000 for two years.
The city will use $101,000 from its Equipment Rental and Replacement Fund to fund the additional vehicles and equipment. Any additional vehicles purchased will be used for other purposes during nonwinter months.
Reach Reporter Tim Pfarr at 392-6434, ext. 239, or newcas@isspress.com.

Last winter, the Pacific Northwest was assaulted by ice, wind and heaps of snow that transformed roadways into treacherous, slippery obstacle courses.

At the time, there were three vehicles working to clear the streets of Newcastle: one belonging to the city and two belonging to the Coal Creek Utility District. However, the district has announced that it can no longer help the city clear the streets in future winters, forcing Newcastle to clear its streets on its own. The city plans to solve this problem by purchasing additional snow- and ice-management equipment.

The city owns one truck that has been fitted with a snowplow, but it plans to purchase enough equipment to have three city-owned trucks ready to clear the streets come winter. The district has offered to sell equipment to the city, and the city plans to take advantage of this offer by purchasing a sander and one of the company’s smaller trucks. This would give the city its second vehicle.

For the third vehicle, the city is seeking to add a large truck that could clear the longer, priority roadways, said Doug Alder, communications manager for the city. For this, he said the city is exploring two options: purchasing a large truck that is already fitted with a plow, blade and sander; or fitting the city’s existing dump truck with a plow, blade and sander.

The City Council also recently voted to allow City Manager John Starbard to enter the city into an intergovernmental agreement for cooperative purchasing with the state of Washington, which would allow the city to purchase equipment for a lower price. However, membership with the cooperative costs $2,000 for two years.

The city will use $101,000 from its Equipment Rental and Replacement Fund to fund the additional vehicles and equipment. Any additional vehicles purchased will be used for other purposes during nonwinter months.

Reach Reporter Tim Pfarr at 392-6434, ext. 239, or newcas@isspress.com.

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