Town buying a new grader

Duane Hicks

Public Works will be getting a new grader.
Town council approved the capital budget item during a committee of the whole meeting yesterday after learning one of the town’s two current graders is beyond repair.
The 1999 grader has many faults, including a rusted cab, rims, frame, and driveline; its transmission is receiving engine oil; a rusted wing and moldboard; one set of drive wheels need to be replaced; hydraulic systems issues; and its engine is due for a rebuild.
Operations and Facilities manager Travis Rob stressed this unit is “a frontline piece of equipment and its reliability is directly tied to our ability to handle snow removal from the town streets.”
“Further, it is the oldest piece of equipment within our fleet,” he added. “No level of refurbishment will address the impact 19 years of hard, municipal use that this machine has seen.
“This is one area where a band-aid solution simply will not work,” Rob stressed.
Council agreed.
“I have two non-negotiables,” said Coun. Wendy Brunetta. “One is public safety and the other one is meeting standards.
“And I think in this case, this would qualify as, if we don’t have something in place, we fail both of those,” she reasoned.
“So I am definitely in favour of a new grader.”
The new grader has not yet been tendered, but $300,000 (including the trade-in of the old one) has been earmarked for it in the capital budget.
In related news, council decided to hold off on getting a pothole machine right now.
Mayor Roy Avis had proposed the town consider getting one to fix up local streets, figuring it may cost around $100,000-$150,000.
But when he found out from Rob that the price tag could be as much as $385,000, he decided it should be struck from the capital budget.
After further discussion at yesterday’s meeting, council decided to get a manufacturer to demonstrate a pothole machine for it later this year, look at how they work, do a cost-benefit analysis, and possibly consider one for next year’s budget.