Picking Up What’s Put Down

What is put down must be picked up.

During the winter season, City of Warren trucks put many tons of anti-skid material on the streets.

Some of that disappears, but much of it is left along the sides of the roads. That material is the main target of the city’s new street sweeper.

The 2013 Johnson VT650 Vacuum Street Sweeper is going out about four days a week. “It’s running 16 hours a day – four to noon and noon to eight,” Director of Public Works Mike Holtz said. “We’ll do that for a couple weeks to get a jump start on it.”

The truck is hauling up to “five or six loads” per day, Holtz said. Each load is six cubic yards.

After the initial sweep, the truck will run less and pick up less – “two to two-and-a-half loads per day later in the summer,” Holtz said.

Garbage and normal debris make up most of the sweepings after the winter material is gone.

The downtown business district is swept once a week during a third shift – between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

When the truck is full, it returns to base, unloads, and starts up again.

“We dump it at the city garage and we haul out the big pile at the end of every year,” he said.

Each time the truck goes back to the Oak Street facility, it unloads debris and tops off its 300-gallon water tank.

In the winter, the city maintains state highways in its territory. So the salt and anti-skid picked up by the sweeper was put there by other city vehicles.

The city receives about $24,000 from the state for winter maintenance services each year. That amount “is typically a fair trade-off,” Holtz said.

The truck is not part of the city’s Agility program agreements with other municipalities. It will operate in the city for the city’s uses. Holtz said the truck is simply needed in the city too much to send it out.

The truck cost $213,292.20. It was financed for five years and will be paid off from the city’s general fund (75 percent) and sewer fund (25 percent).