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Carolina Beach Council Approves Purchasing New Street Sweeper

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CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council approved purchasing a new street sweeper to replace the existing one in disrepair at their April 10, meeting.
Town Manager Tim Owens explained, "This is one of those unexpected items. We have a street sweeper that is in disrepair. It's not worth fixing. It's basically gone through its lifespan."
He explained, "We need to replace it. It is in next year's budget to replace to pick up the debt service for it. There are some processes we have to go through. If we are lucky we can piggyback on somebody's contract and we can get a street sweeper in pretty quickly. We may have to go through a RFP process or unless we find one on a state contract."
Piggyback purchases happen when one local government asks another to participate in a bidding process to expedite purchases at a lower price.
More traditional processes include utilizing the state contract purchasing system or soliciting bids for new equipment through an RFP (Request for proposals) process from interested manufacturers.
Owens explained, "There could be some time lag here getting one in place. As you've noticed probably recently we've got people manually out on Lake Park Blvd keeping things halfway clean. If you've ever been up there on Canal Drive after a long week, particularly Easter Weekend..." the road needs to be cleaned of sand and other debris.
The purpose for the street sweeper is to clean the roadside and decrease the amount of sediment washed into storm drains and local waterways during rain events in turn negatively affecting water quality in Myrtle Grove Sound and other area waters.
Owens explained, "We basically need to buy a street sweeper. We could possibly prolong the payment until next year so it really won't affect this year's budget. But we don't know that until we go out for financing. So I prefer to possibly go ahead and allocate $50,000 from this year's budget from" the Stormwater Fund reserve funds, "If we need it. If not, we will prolong that until next year."
Owens explained, "I'm recommending we go forward and try to buy a street sweeper at this point. Get what we can out of the other one salvage-wise. We are probably looking at a little less than $235,000. I think Brian says it will probably be closer to $200,000 or $215,000. Somewhere in that neighborhood. Not including the rebate we can get out of the truck we have."
Councilman Bob Lewis asked, "How old is this street sweeper now?"
Owens said, "Five years old. There are probably some flaws in the way this one was constructed. The new containers are kind of RHINO lined or they are some kind of internal lining that this one didn't have. It picks up sand which is, you know, sand rust quickly. If you're in Charlotte and you're picking up cigarette butts and trash, then probably last" much longer but in a coastal environment they don't last as long.
Owens said the other option is to spend around $20,000 to repair the existing one.
The Council voted unanimously to approve of the purchase of a new street sweeper.
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.