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They think they will save money

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grandview, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    He's worried about the hourly rate but then wants to spend money buying trucks. I guess he didn't take into account the maintenance cost of his new trucks.






    Outside contractors plowed under by boro
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009
    Suburban Trends
    Recently, the Borough Council decided that the municipality's workforce will plow roads in lake communities instead of using outside contractors for the task, as was the practice in the past.

    At its Oct. 27 meeting, the council agreed to have the Department of Public Works (DPW) plow lake roads on a two-year trial basis. Stating that she needed more information before she could approve the change, Councilwoman Linda Huntley voted against switching from private contractors to the DPW.

    Borough Administrator Ted Ehrenburg said the costs for the snow plowing by private contractors continue to escalate. Ehrenburg said $21,000 was expended in the 2008-09 winter season on private contractors. Under last year's agreement, contractors were required to go out and plow whenever 2 inches of snow accumulated, he said.

    As a means of cost comparison, Ehrenburg said, the borough could take the number of hours private contractors put in and multiply the figure by the DPW employees' hourly rate. The problem is the borough must rely on the hours submitted by the contractors and there is no way to ascertain whether the contractors are giving an accurate account of the number of hours they spend on plowing borough streets. Ehrenburg estimated it would cost $140 an hour to plow the lake roads, which is substantially lower than it pays outside contractors. He said the borough will need to purchase two pickup trucks and spreaders at a cost of $74,800.

    Albert Gallagher, DPW superintendent, shared Ehrenburg's concerns.

    Gallagher indicated that the borough did not know whether the contractors were billing the borough for plowing hours accurately. And if their bills were not accurate, he said, the borough did not know how far they differed from actual hours.

    Gallagher said the borough already plows Morse Lakes.

    Both Councilman Thomas Marinaro and Councilman Dean Specchio said they could not envision a private contractor doing the plowing at a lower cost than the borough. Marinaro said he would feel more comfortable with Gallagher billing the borough for plowing than an outside contractor.

    Bill Kuipers, who is a roads committee member in Lake Iosco, said the contractor used in Lake Iosco has gradually done a better job at plowing in the lake community to the point where residents are quite satisfied with the contractor's service. Admitting there are some physical challenges in plowing Lake Iosco including narrow roads and rocks, Kuipers said the contractor used pickup trucks and smaller Bobcat heavy equipment to plow the community.

    Kuipers also said Lake Iosco expends a lot of money on paving and maintaining its roads, and using rock salt could cause roads to deteriorate more quickly and pose a water quality issue.

    When the governing body said it would make a decision at its Nov. 10 meeting, Kuipers said that a delay could jeopardize Lake Iosco's ability to secure its contractor. Robert Rex, also of Lake Iosco, said Nov. 10 would be too late.

    Huntley said she asked for information on the costs and did not receive the information. She said the borough should wait until spring to make a decision on plowing for next winter and stick with contractors this year. She also questioned whether the DPW could handle the added work.

    Gallagher said the borough would not use salt to melt ice in the lake communities and would use grits instead. Gallagher also said he was confident that his crew could handle the additional work.

    "I don't make big decisions without talking to my men. They all came forth and said they would do it," he said.

    At an earlier council meeting, Ehrenburg said the borough was at a crossroads when it came to offering a contract to outside plowing contractors or deciding it would use its DPW to do the work. In the past, the borough reimbursed the lake communities for plowing done by outside contractors, which is in compliance with the Kelly Law, also known as the Condominium Services Act.

    "Some of our private contractors have served us well and others have not," he said. "I think we have one class of residents and should get our own equipment and have the DPW do it."

    Ehrenburg said not all residents felt they were well-served by private contractors. Sometimes the DPW would have to clean up after the private contractors plowed through, he indicated.

    E-mail: walshde@northjersey.com

    Recently, the Borough Council decided that the municipality's workforce will plow roads in lake communities instead of using outside contractors for the task, as was the practice in the past.

    At its Oct. 27 meeting, the council agreed to have the Department of Public Works (DPW) plow lake roads on a two-year trial basis. Stating that she needed more information before she could approve the change, Councilwoman Linda Huntley voted against switching from private contractors to the DPW.

    Borough Administrator Ted Ehrenburg said the costs for the snow plowing by private contractors continue to escalate. Ehrenburg said $21,000 was expended in the 2008-09 winter season on private contractors. Under last year's agreement, contractors were required to go out and plow whenever 2 inches of snow accumulated, he said.

    As a means of cost comparison, Ehrenburg said, the borough could take the number of hours private contractors put in and multiply the figure by the DPW employees' hourly rate. The problem is the borough must rely on the hours submitted by the contractors and there is no way to ascertain whether the contractors are giving an accurate account of the number of hours they spend on plowing borough streets. Ehrenburg estimated it would cost $140 an hour to plow the lake roads, which is substantially lower than it pays outside contractors. He said the borough will need to purchase two pickup trucks and spreaders at a cost of $74,800.

    Albert Gallagher, DPW superintendent, shared Ehrenburg's concerns.

    Gallagher indicated that the borough did not know whether the contractors were billing the borough for plowing hours accurately. And if their bills were not accurate, he said, the borough did not know how far they differed from actual hours.

    Gallagher said the borough already plows Morse Lakes.

    Both Councilman Thomas Marinaro and Councilman Dean Specchio said they could not envision a private contractor doing the plowing at a lower cost than the borough. Marinaro said he would feel more comfortable with Gallagher billing the borough for plowing than an outside contractor.

    Bill Kuipers, who is a roads committee member in Lake Iosco, said the contractor used in Lake Iosco has gradually done a better job at plowing in the lake community to the point where residents are quite satisfied with the contractor's service. Admitting there are some physical challenges in plowing Lake Iosco including narrow roads and rocks, Kuipers said the contractor used pickup trucks and smaller Bobcat heavy equipment to plow the community.

    Kuipers also said Lake Iosco expends a lot of money on paving and maintaining its roads, and using rock salt could cause roads to deteriorate more quickly and pose a water quality issue.

    When the governing body said it would make a decision at its Nov. 10 meeting, Kuipers said that a delay could jeopardize Lake Iosco's ability to secure its contractor. Robert Rex, also of Lake Iosco, said Nov. 10 would be too late.

    Huntley said she asked for information on the costs and did not receive the information. She said the borough should wait until spring to make a decision on plowing for next winter and stick with contractors this year. She also questioned whether the DPW could handle the added work.

    Gallagher said the borough would not use salt to melt ice in the lake communities and would use grits instead. Gallagher also said he was confident that his crew could handle the additional work.

    "I don't make big decisions without talking to my men. They all came forth and said they would do it," he said.

    At an earlier council meeting, Ehrenburg said the borough was at a crossroads when it came to offering a contract to outside plowing contractors or deciding it would use its DPW to do the work. In the past, the borough reimbursed the lake communities for plowing done by outside contractors, which is in compliance with the Kelly Law, also known as the Condominium Services Act.

    "Some of our private contractors have served us well and others have not," he said. "I think we have one class of residents and should get our own equipment and have the DPW do it."

    Ehrenburg said not all residents felt they were well-served by private contractors. Sometimes the DPW would have to clean up after the private contractors plowed through, he indicated.
     
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    So they are going to buy $150,000 worth of trucks for their 2 year trial period, when contracting it out costs $21,000 per year. That's 7.5 years just to pay for the trucks. Not to mention the costs of maintaining the trucks, and paying the drivers triple overtime. Sounds like a winner!
     
  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    of course it will cost less
    they'll just do less service
    "look, we're saving money"


    of course, we're only plowing at 12" now, but look at all the money we're saving.
     
  4. badabing1512

    badabing1512 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    absolutly rediculous
     
  5. asps4u

    asps4u Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Sounds like a typical gov't cost savings program :rolleyes: And than they'll wonder what happened to their budget :dizzy: I can't say I'm surprised to hear such a thing.
     
  6. ManorD24

    ManorD24 Member
    Messages: 35

    Guess theres no supervision of the contractors by the DWP, cause if there was they should have accurate hours of start and stop times. They could also ensure that the areas are plowed properly. Around here the town uses outside contractors to aid in snow removal, but when they are called in they have to meet the area forman and sign a time card in and then sign out when they are released or leave early.
     
  7. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    That right there is the typical govt mentality at its finest!
     
  8. parnellyj

    parnellyj Junior Member
    from MT
    Messages: 18

    God Bless the DEMS and there money spending ways what a bunch of a$ses!
     
  9. Deco

    Deco Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    thinking is not what the gov. does . saving is not what the gov. does .
     
  10. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    It should be interesting to see how this works out for them, seeing what the economy is like, it seems to me now is the time to be subing things out and having contractors bidding on things more aggresively, sounds like USM logic, maybe when the first person dies from the poor service the municipality is going to do, they well get sued by the families involved.
     
  11. City of Minneapolis just cut it's plow force from 150 down to 84. They plan on using people from other departments to help with the snow events, then go back to their regular jobs after a few days out in the snow. We're in Minneapolis, for g**'s sake! If the city can't come up with the money for the ONE thing that's essential to the nature of this city, then it's time to re-assess our priorities.
     
  12. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    It is quite obvious who these people voted for President ? :help:
    Bandit
     
  13. Matts Kitty

    Matts Kitty Junior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 20

    "No way to ascertain whether the contractors are giving an accurate number of hours plowing" I wish I would have known. Could have sent the dirt bag that was watching me plow and keeping track of the time it took me for another contractor that wanted my accounts. Even caught him at my house looking my stuff over. Face it, if the town was in charge of the desert we would be out of sand in five years.
     
  14. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,149

    So, they assuming that the contractor was cheating the city on hours worked? I see a slander suit in their future. Why does everyone assume that contractors are screwing everyone?