With the costs of maintenance continuing to increase each year for a tandem axle dump truck that has been scheduled to be replaced since 2014, Williams Lake Council authorized early budget approval in the amount of $300,000 this week for its replacement.
A report by the City’s manager of fleet and utilities, Joe Engelberts indicates approximately $15,000 was spent on parts and labour last year to keep unit 240, a 1994 Western Star Tandem Axle Dump Truck that is used for snow removal and activities such as hauling material and water main breaks operational.
“We just didn’t have the money and when we looked at the capital allotments going into 2019 this was a significant priority, ” said councilor and chair of the finance committee, Scott Nelson.
“One of the reasons we highlighted it and brought it forward was we wanted to make sure that we had it put into our capital budget for 2019 with an early approval so that the equipment was being able to use going into our fall season.”
Engelberts said if ordered now, a new unit would be expected to have a 9-12 month delivery window which would allow for a new unit to be available for 2020 operations.
The City’s municipal services historically has had two tandem axle trucks for snow removal and general operations.
“In order to maintain the level of service required by Williams Lake’s Snow Policy, Public Works requires five units to keep the streets maintained,” Engelberts wrote.
“In the early winter 2018 unit 241, the second tandem, was involved in an incident and was written off and removed from service. A new tandem axle
truck was ordered, and delivery is expected to be approximately mid-2019. This has left Municipal Services with only four units for snow removal and general operations for a majority of 2018 and 2019 winter season.”
“As unit 240 becomes less reliable, break downs will result in further reductions of services during a snow event.”