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Oswego Looks At Ways To Bolster DPW’s Fleet

OSWEGO, NY – The Port City’s DPW commissioner wants to keep his options open for the coming winter.

At Monday night’s Administrative Services Committee, Commissioner Mike Smith requested councilors consider three options for bolstering the DPW’s snow fighting arsenal.

The Common Council will ultimately approve one of the options at its Oct. 26 meeting.

“Partly because we’re not able to purchase our new equipment yet, I need some more equipment for this season,” Smith said, referring to the $1.02 million Sen. Darrel Aubertine secured for Oswego’s DPW.

The first option, according to Smith, is to accept the low bid (58,500) from Hamilton Equipment Company for a reconditioned cab and chassis all-wheel drive with the objective of making a sander for the upcoming winter season.

The second choice would be purchase two used plow/sander combo trucks from Niagara County.

One truck is a 2000, which Smith recommended the city offer up to $15,000 for. The other is a 2001, which Smith recommended the city purchase for $25,000 or less.

With the 2000, the city might be able to get three year’s use out of it; with the other it’s at least three and maybe four years, “if things go well,” Smith said. “It will give us backup. Even when we get the new equipment, it will give us that extra capability that we have lost from the plows that we’ve had to take out of service the last two years.”

Both trucks are on the auction block in Niagara County. The auction was to close Monday night.

If the county gets a bid higher than what the city is offering, this option becomes a moot point, Smith said.

The final alternative is to purchase a stainless steel sander box for $16,494 from Henderson Truck Equipment-NY.

“This option would be necessary if both of the other options don’t work out,” Smith told the committee. “I still need a sander box if the other two (options) fall through. I have to put it on something that we own, put another sander out there.”

Smith described the options as an “either or” plan.

“Until I can get some more information, which I won’t have until at least tomorrow or maybe Wednesday (after the auction closes), I’d like to leave both of these things on the table pending the (council) meeting on Monday. We can always pull one off,” he said. “If we don’t forward it today, I don’t have that option.”

The cab and chassis is a good deal, the commissioner said.

“If we purchase the sander box to go with it, we’re talking about an eight to 10 year vehicle,” he said. “This is a good deal for us. It is similar to what we’ve done in the past.”

“It’s either or?” asked Councilor Bill Sharkey.

“That’s where we’re heading,” Smith replied. “I’m not sure if the other two vehicles are going to be available,” he explained.

The two (Niagara County) vehicles just came to the department’s attention just a week ago, Smith told the committee, adding that he had both inspected.

“If we had the money that Sen. Aubertine secured for us now, would you be buying both of these with that money?” Councilor Connie Cosemento asked.

“No, with senator’s money, the grant money, we want to purchase some new equipment. Equipment that we hope will last us 10 to 12 years,” Smith said. “These are stop-gap measures.”

In a related move, the committee OK’d the transfer of $55,000 within the DPW cover the cost of the equipment.

They also approved the transfer of $47,308 from various DPW lines into the Snow Removal (Equipment) line in order to purchase the necessary ice control sand and salt for the upcoming winter.

“I took as much as I could from everywhere I could get away with it. We need to buy sand and salt for this winter,” Smith explained. “We are starting to stockpile the second dome at the moment.”

Councilor Walker suggested Smith look into the system the county uses on its sanders to mix the sand and salt.

It could mean a significant savings in sand and salt for the city, he noted.

The committee sent all of Smith’s requests to the full council for consideration.