City Council approves street sweeper purchase
by Emily McLain
Feb 19, 2014 | 955 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SYLACAUGA – The City Council voted to authorize the purchase of a $157,500 street sweeper at its meeting Tuesday night.

The sweeper, from Sansom Equipment Company, is a used 2008 Elgin Freightliner Chassis model with an optional hydraulic hose attachment for cleaning drains. Mayor Doug Murphree said Wednesday that the city should own it within a month.

“When you look at our gutters, they’re full of weeds and trash and we’re going to get that cleaned up,” he said. “The street sweeper will be well worth what we paid for it.”

A proponent of cleaning up the city, Murphree said the street sweeper will benefit Sylacauga greatly in its efforts to be cleaner and litter-free.

“A lot of people have expressed a desire to get the city looking good like it used to,” Murphree said. “We used to be called ‘Beautiful Sylacauga,’ and people say there’s a lot of parts of the city that aren’t beautiful anymore. We’re going to do several things to get the city looking good again, and a street sweeper is part of that plan.”

In addition to the sweeper, an ordinance enforcement officer is being put in place to patrol the city for ordinance violations, with an emphasis on litter control. Volunteers have organized a citywide cleanup day for April 5, Murphree said, and he also hopes to get litter laws in place in the near future.

“I really think in the next year or so we’ll be able to make a big difference with the things we’re putting in place,” Murphree said.

The city was issued a $125,000 general obligation warrant through SunTrust Bank last year for the purchase of a street sweeper. After the warrant was secured, estimates for the equipment came in much higher, and the street department eventually located the 2008 model that offered all the features it needed within a reasonable price range. At a council work session Monday night, Murphree said the bad cost estimate was simply a mistake.

“We put in what we paid for the last one, which was a cheaper unit and that was 10 years ago, so we just made a mistake,” he said. “The one we had was not anything near the quality this machine is.”

Council members said they would like to look into financing options for the balance, and their approval of the street sweeper purchase also authorized Murphree to secure that financing, if necessary.

Also at the meeting, the council:

O Read into the minutes that Murphree appointed Priscilla Cleveland as Housing Authority commissioner for a five-year term ending February 2019.

O Adopted a resolution asking Sen. Jerry Fielding and Rep. Ron Johnson to sponsor local legislation providing for a $100 warrant recall fee in the municipal court.

O Accepted a Planning Commission recommendation to change the name of the portion of street connecting Old Rockford Road and Forest Drive from Forest Drive to Bleacher Johnston Drive.

O Authorized attorney David Stubbs to proceed with resolution of a lawsuit filed against the city by Creekside Apartments and to authorize payment to Stubbs of $5,830.

O Authorized $2,500 to the Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen pageant.

O Authorized $1,110 to Parks and Recreation for the surplus property sale of one vehicle.

O Approved a special events permit for Comer Museum for a chili cook-off and car show March 8.

O Approved expenses for city employees to attend various training and certification sessions.

O Authorized accounts payable invoices totaling $196,700 for January; payrolls totaling $569,000 for January; and approved all financial statements and checks and transfers for January.

The council has a called work session Feb. 24 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall to review city contracts. Its next regular meeting is March 5 at 9 a.m. at City Hall.

Contact Emily McLain at emclain@dailyhome.com.