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Town Street Sweeper Out Of Commission; New One Expected To Cost $235,000

Town employees from the Operations Department blocking lanes along Lake Park Blvd. Tuesday April  10, blowing sand and debris into piles to be picked up. Cleaning is usually done by a street sweeper.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH -  The Town of Carolina Beach street sweeper is out of commission and needs replacing. The expected cost is around $235,000.
According to Operations Department Director Brian Stanberry, "The Town of Carolina Beach currently owns a street sweeper that is five years of age. Having been subject to the elements that are present in this coastal environment, it has had a significant lifespan. However, it is now at the end of its' serviceable career. A new machine was requested in the proposed 2012-2013 budget for Public Works. Shortly following the submittal of this new Public Works budget, the sweeper suffered mechanical failure."
Stanberry explained, "Upon further inspection, it was determined that the Town's sweeper had major mechanical issues and was in need of very extensive repairs and at a cost that exceeded $20,000. This, along with various issues that have arisen recently, would indicate that the sweeper has reached the end of its' service with the Town."
He explained, "An efficiently operating street sweeper provides numerous services to the Town of Carolina Beach. First, the sweeper acts as the Town's foremost functioning Stormwater Best Management Practice. The sweeper offers the first line of defense against sediment and pollutants that would, otherwise, enter the stormwater system and eventually deposit into Carolina Beach Yacht Basin, or Carolina Beach Lake. This is of utmost importance in our attempts to improve water quality."
He explained, "Secondly, the street sweeper helps ensure that streets and curb and gutter are aesthetically pleasing and free of unsightly sand and debris. This fact is of great importance, especially during the tourist season, as our streets offer the first impression to any visitors of the island. The operation of the street sweeper also aids in keeping grass, vegetation and soil from protruding out into the roadway and reducing the travel lanes on town streets."
Stanberry offered a recommendation to the Council in a memo last week stating, "It is my request and recommendation that council transfer funds, in the amount of $50,000, from the Water/Sewer Reserve Fund to allow for the financing and purchase of a new street sweeper. A new sweeper will cost an
estimated $235,000 and there is a minimal amount of trade in value for the Town's old sweeper. The initial payment for the new sweeper is included in the current proposed budget for 2012-2013, and it is possible that the first payment would actually be due after July 1. With the approval of council, the Town could seek estimates, based on an RFP (Request for Proposals), and proceed forward with the beginning stages of financing for the new street sweeper. This would allow for minimal delay, in the absence of an operational sweeper, which is of most importance as we head into the tourist season."
The Council was set to discuss a budget amendment for a new street sweeper at their April 10, meeting.
In the absence of a working sweeper, Stanberry explained last week he's directed employees to manually clean Lake Park Blvd at intervals to keep the roadside clear of sand and debris that would otherwise enter the storm drainage system and create problems he mentioned in his explanation to Council of the importance of the machine.
On Tuesday April 10, town employees from the Operations Department were out blowing and sweeping up sand and debris in order to maintain control.