Claremore Daily Progress

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Government

October 3, 2012

New sanitation trucks to limit OT issues

CLAREMORE — The Claremore City Council is helping reduce maintenance and overtime expenses for the city sanitation department through the purchase of two new vehicles.

The council approved the purchase Monday. 
The $227,840 automated sanitation truck and a $114,689 sanitation roll-off truck were purchased after the city received bids for the items.
Only one bid was eligible, as the other bid received for the roll-off truck did not meet specific requirements, according to officials.
The second lowest bid was awarded for the automated sanitation truck as the lowest bidder only provided equipment with a side loader.
This type of truck has maintenance issues, according to staff.
Maintenance expenses became the focus of the discussion during the meeting, but the secondary benefit will be the reduction of overtime expenses, according to city officials.
At one point in the meeting, city staff produced a box of maintenance records to show the council documentation of these issues.
The main issue with the side loader from the lowest bid is that the arm is in an area which the arm is attached, according to Donnie Burgess, department supervisor.
Burgess cited problems with the hydraulic system and other mechanical issues.
Although, the two vehicles cost the city almost $340,000 upfront; the items are expected to bring savings in the long run.
Both items were paid for from the city budget, according to Burgess.
Maintenance issues were the primary cause for overtime in the department, according to previous reports.
Overtime for 2011 exceeded $25,000 for management, not including other workers in the department.
Due to a shortage of employees and equipment, overtime pay had reached higher levels than in previous years, according to officials
Sanitation managers Burgess and Darryl Simon have been receiving the majority of the overtime pay.
In 2011, Burgess clocked 542 overtime hours and Simon reported 446 hours.
Burgess earned approximately $17,566 in overtime in addition to the $50,866 base pay he currently receives. This totals to $68,433 for 2012.
Simon earned approximately $11,315 in overtime, in addition to the $39,896 base pay he currently receives, totaling $51,211.
Claremore Communication Director Cassie Woods previously said that the new vehicles along with the rotation of one of old trucks will help keep vehicles available for routes.
The backup truck will save the city from using overtime, she said.
Woods also noted that the city hired an additional employee, bringing the total staff in that department to 13.

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