Oregon looks at social media for sweeper schedule

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon City Council approved the purchase of a street sweeper from Southeastern Equipment Company for $268,530 at a meeting on Monday.
        Southeastern Equipment Company submitted the lowest overall bid per the State of Ohio Department of Administrative Services for a 2021 Schwarze A9 Monsoon Street Sweeper.
        The equipment will be used by the Street Division for the purpose of general street sweeping and to maintain compliance with the city’s EPA storm water permit.
        “This is something that we do need,” Mayor Mike Seferian said at the meeting.
        The sweeper was not originally in the 2021 budget. The sweeper is used to keep catch basins and drainage systems open due to leaves starting to fall at this time of year.
        The current sweeper has been sitting at a repair shop waiting for the city’s decision on whether or not to repair the sweeper for $63,000, according to Public Service Director Paul Roman. The unit is 12 years old. The city has already spent $108,000 on past repairs. The original sweeper cost $165,000. Over the last month, the city rented a sweeper at a cost of $10,000 per month. If the city chose to make the $63,000 repair, it would still need to rent a sweeper for two more months to finish the fall leave collection and miscellaneous cleanups. It was decided that the cost of repairs of the current sweeper exceeds the value of the unit, and the availability of the parts created an unreasonable time frame.
        “We believe it is way more prudent to purchase a sweeper,” said Roman.
        He added the city will get nearly 10 years out of the sweeper if it’s maintained properly.
        “The thing about sweepers is that they are very high maintenance. To spend thousands to just get by, and only have it last another few years is just not worth it,” said Roman.
        On a related matter, Councilman James Seaman asked about installing signs to inform the public about the schedule to clear the street of leaves.
        “In some of the subdivisions, it’s great to see the street sweepers come through. So many times, there are cars parked in the street. There are driveway spaces in some of the subdivisions. Would we consider signs like on the third Tuesday of every month, this area is swept, please keep your car in the driveway. They could do such a better job. They do a good job, but so many times, there’s cars in the way,” said Seaman.
        Roman said it was a good idea.
        “A lot of times I’ll go home for lunch, then the sweeper goes around the car, and the leaves get missed. I think sometimes we have a hard time getting cars off the road for snow let alone a sweeper. It’s a good suggestion. It might be something that is tough to do. But it’s something we can look at,” said Roman.
        The EPA storm water permit requires the city to sweep every road two times per year, he said.
        “We meet that. But for leaf pickup and everything else that we have, construction and debris in the road, there are so many different priorities that change,” said Roman.
        “It’s something we can think about,” said Seaman.
        City Administrator Mike Beazley said the city could try to communicate a sweeper schedule via social media.
        “It is really hard for us to tell motorists they can’t park their vehicles there. We certainly don’t want to start ticketing residents,” said Beazley. “I’ve tried several ways to do it over a long career. Nothing worked perfectly.”
        “I never want to see anyone ticketed,” said Seaman. “Using social media is probably an effective way to do it. That’s a good idea. That might be a good approach.”


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