Village Leaf Vac paying for itself

By Lenny C. Lepola -

Last year, Streets and Maintenance Supervisor Brad Gerwig asked Sunbury Village Council members to consider purchasing a self-contained leaf vacuum unit for $39,947.

There was some initial indecision about spending that amount of money for a machine that had limited use one month each year, but Gerwig assured council members the purchase was economical.

Gerwig told village council members that the old leaf collection system required four employees; with the new vacuum he could collect leaves faster and with only two employees. He said the new machine could pay for itself in three years.

“I ran some numbers and last fall the village had a $42,782 leaf collection cost,” Gerwig said last March. “Our residents expect it to be done, but it’s costly. Two employees, for a 50-percent wage savings, could run the self-contained leaf vac. That would pay the unit off in two years.”

Council approved the purchase, but a late order meant the leaf vac could not be delivered in time for the 2015 leaf collection season. With the 2016 leaf collection season almost complete, Gerwig had numbers available that justifies the purchase.

“Under the old leaf collection system using four employees we spent over $40,000 last year,” Gerwig said during last Wednesday’s (Dec. 7) Services Committee meeting. “This year we’ve collected leaves 10 days longer in run-time and we’re still down $20,000.”

Gerwig said using only two employees for leaf collection also freed up employees to prepare for the approaching snow season.

Gerwig also noted that the village has ordered 290 tons of road salt, enough for a typical winter.

During the same Services Committee meeting, Sunbury Wastewater Treatment Plant Supervisor Dale Wampler asked members to request that village council spend $5,270 to purchase a Gorman-Rupp pump for the Kintner Parkway Sanitary Sewer Lift Station.

“There’s two pumps in that lift station, but one of them has been out since 2014,” Wampler said. “That was something that had been put off, but we need to replace that pump.”

Wampler said the failed pump had been rebuilt one time already, and failed again; that a new pump would provide needed backup at the lift station.

By Lenny C. Lepola

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.