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REPORTING · 12th February 2015
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council was hammering through its budget on Wednesday, February 4th. One of the topics which they addressed was the Vehicle replacement program.

A memo to Council explained the fund was lower than the staff would like. It is usually maintained at around 15% of the cost of the fleet, or 1.6 million dollars. The reserve is down to $620,000 and started 2014 at $707,000.

The revenue for the fund is normally obtained from internal vehicle rates which are charged to the public works operations account. The report explained the expenditures are separate from the Fire Hall and Leisure Services. Normally the revenue is generated by snow removal and there was not much snow in 2014.

“Are we ahead of the game, can we expect, barring any major acts of God, to have a surplus in that account at the end of the year?” asked Walker.

The Director of Engineering Services, Tim Gleig explained it was too soon to tell. He told Council they need to replace 2 blowers, as they are down from seven to five. He said while the snow clearing equipment can be deferred, this is what people would normally complain about.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know where they were at in the terms of the two blowers which needed replacement and whether they can be put off for another year. Throughout the meeting, he was discussing whether or not Council could wait for the LNG decision.

He was told they were the two oldest machines, purchased in 1996. They were supposed to be replaced in 2010 but were in still operable. In the end, they were refurbished to get a few more years of work. They are the District’s back up blowers in case the big ones go down.

However, the public works yard found the cost of maintaining them was more than their value. These blowers are also the blowers which are used to widen the walkways. The District has been looking for a product which is small enough to clear walkways but large enough that it could also work on streets. The one they are looking at is a European product.
Snow Equipment
Comment by Leon Dumstrey-Soos on 14th February 2015
I suggest to Council to be careful in their decision on the subject. We are addressing here hundreds o thousand of dollars of Public money.
Because : If the Directors of the Engineering report is based only on his staff estimates and perhaps assumptions , this is not sufficient.
For better understanding in decision making:
Director should present detailed report with the LOG BOOK( what is done particularly in dormant time -Summer)- of each peace of equipment, state
and costs, also an TOTAL EQUIPMENT
INSPECTION REPORT should be submitted by Caterpillar , Volvo or any other reputable company so that you may be able to compare.

Director should also report why are the Loaders Snow Blowers and Graders traveling at maximum speed while traveling from place to place or returning to yard as this is very damaging to the equipment and which in time ads to costly repairs?

Note :Snow Blowers are out of action for six to seven months. Make wise decision.