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 lights. So 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.