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Franklin officials eye purchase of used pothole patcher truck

Vehicle would cost DPW $47,000

April 24, 2013

Franklin - The Public Works Department is recommending the Common Council approve the purchase of a $47,000, used pothole patcher truck to replace the outdated dump truck the department currently uses to repair roadways.

The department was hoping the council would authorize the purchase at a special council meeting called Tuesday, however that meeting was canceled when a quorum could not be reached. The recommendation now will go before the council May 7.

Public Works Superintendent Jerry Schaefer said the purchase of the 2003 Freightliner truck makes more sense than updating the department's 1990 Ford dump truck with piecemeal improvements.

Public Works staff attach a "slip-in" unit on the back of the dump truck when they goes out to fix potholes. Franklin's budget funding includes $30,000 to replace the slip-in patcher, but Schaefer said for an additional $17,000, the city can buy the used 2003 Freightliner truck, which is equipped with several asphalt repair functions all-in-one.

The functioning equipment on the prospective truck includes a hydraulic breaker for asphalt removal, compressed air for cleaning the area to be repaired, tack coat pavement adhesion and a plate compactor for proper pavement compactions. The current dump truck by itself doesn't provide any of those features.

Schaefer said he saw the truck for sale on a website, and has urged council members to act on purchasing it before the dealer sells it to another interested party.

If the council authorizes the purchase, Schaefer said, a Public Works representative would travel to inspect the truck in Norwalk, Calif., and would arrange to have it brought to Franklin by trailer if it meets quality standards.

To offset the cost, Schaefer said the department would sell the old truck with pothole patcher and snowplows for $10,000, leaving the council to pick up an unfunded $7,000.

The winter weather conditions over the last few years has devastated roadways. The freeze and thaw cycles increase pavement movement, and accelerate the deterioration of Franklin's 166 miles of streets, eventually leading to an increase in repairs required throughout the city.

On average, about four- to five-miles of roadway are resurfaced each year, at a cost of about $200,000 per mile.

"Proper pavement maintenance, pothole patching and crack sealing are critical in extending pavement life," said Schaefer, adding that the new truck will help the department complete efficient repairs.

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