Friday, March 8, 2013

Expensive Tools

 US Navy has Battleships, AFD has Ladder Trucks, and the DPW has Dump Trucks.  Big ones

Today's snowstorm would have provided a better backdrop for Amherst DPW Director Guilford Mooring's appearance before the Joint Capital Planning Committee, initial gatekeepers for all capital equipment purchases in the upcoming fiscal year.

Yesterday morning Mooring pitched the needs of his department (besides $2 million in operations) with the most expensive item, "the backbone of his fleet," a $150,000 dump truck.

Those really B-I-G dump trucks.  And his #1 priority.  Plus $20,000 for sander & plow attachments.

The town currently has six of these trucks on the road.

The new truck is to replace an 17-year-old dead one that lost its firewall due to corrosion. The steering wheel fell into the drivers lap -- while he was driving!

 Rotted out firewall

Also high on the list and expensive @ $130,000, is a bucket truck used to change light bulbs and perform other work that requires a safe stable platform high in the air.

Amherst recently received a $302,000 Green Community award energy grant, and will be relamping the entire town with energy efficient LED lightsSo the current, tired, ten-year-old bucket truck may not survive.

 Bucket truck at rest

Coming in 3rd on the list and a lot less expensive is a $40,000 special trash/recycling bed for a one ton pickup truck to make downtown clean up more efficient.  A natural compliment to the renewed effort via the Business Improvement District to attract consumers to the heart of downtown Amherst.

With 28 square miles of terrain to maintain, Amherst upkeep is a 24/7 endeavor.  You may not notice the routine work the DPW performs day-in and day-out, but you notice it instantly when it does not get done.

And doing a job right requires the right tools.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear they are getting a bucket loader. There has been a streetlight out on Glendale Road for more than 3 years. Whenever I ask the powers at the dpw when it will be replaced they tell me the company doesn’t make those ballasts anymore. Maybe now they’ll figure out how to change the lightbulb.

Anonymous said...

It's not a 'bucket loader' it is a 'bucket truck'. A bucket loader has a scoop bucket used for loading trucks.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear they are getting a hand truck.

Anonymous said...

Amherst needs a motor-pool review board to see if all of these vehicles[look at how many are registar,to each dept.]are needed and replaced[apple for apples]and what happens to old ones[show that they are gone[replaced, V.I.N.of old one and V.I.N. of new one] so there is not a few old ones kept to say they need replaceing year after year.

Larry Kelley said...

That's kind of what the Joint Capital Planning Committee does. And they can be pretty Scroog like.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a little publicity for Public works!
Some times it seems we get forgotten,with Police ,Fire and the schools in the limelight.

Larry Kelley said...

No problem. I should also have mentioned what great neighbors you are.

Anonymous said...

I think it is very disrespectful of you to refer to the dpw workers as "expensive tools".

Larry Kelley said...

Humour requires its own special font.

Anonymous said...

But then you'd know the joke was coming and it wouldn't work.