City buys new truck

Port Orchard Public Works employees have a new ride.

On the same Tuesday the Port Orchard City Council unanimously approved an update to a Six Year Transportation Improvement Program that will serve as a rough guideline of priorities for city transportation projects, the council approved the purchase of a large multipurpose truck.

The super-single axel truck will be used year-round, said Port Orchard’s Public Works Director Mark Dorsey, from plowing snow and de-icing in the winter, to working with brush and dredging storm drains in the summer.

The truck and accessories, purchased from Valley Frieghtliner, Inc., will cost the city $261,313. John Clauson, the city’s finance committee chairman, said money for the truck was budgeted in 2011 out of the city’s general fund and approved again by the finance committee in March.

The truck purchased was a demo model used by Valley Freightliner and comes with 4,000 miles on it already, saving the city 20 percent of the cost. Also, the city saved money by executing a cooperative purchase agreement with King County in bidding for the truck.

The purchase of the truck became necessary after the annexation of the Bethel North Corridor, which increased the city’s total area, Clauson said.

Dorsey agreed that a new truck, with a 7.5-yard dump box, was needed to add to the city’s existing stock of two 10-yard plows and a smaller, 5-yard, multipurpose vehicle. With McCormick Woods to the west and the new Bethel North Corridor to the east, there is a lot of area for a small city to plow and manage.

“We have a lot of area to cover,” Dorsey said. “There will be a day when we will definitely need four trucks on the road.”

The new truck is the first in the city capable of dispensing a de-icing brine solution, Dorsey said. The city’s inability to use brine has made ice storms, such as this year’s January blast, trouble for the city, he said.

Along with the brine, quick, easy-to-use features and attachments on the truck mean city workers could get out on the streets minutes after the snow starts falling.

“It’s a massive time-saver to the city,” he said.

Before city council members approved the purchase of the truck, the city adopted a Six Year Transportation Improvement Plan outlining the city’s major upcoming transportation projects for the 2013-2018. The city had listed 22 projects on the plan, ranging from the expansive Treemont Street Widening Projects to smaller projects such as Cline Avenue Sidewalk Rehabilitation.

Dorsey emphasized that funding for the projects given the current economic climate would be hard to come by, and said some of the projects on the list could not be finished by 2018.

“Funding for all of these projects, given the funding climate, is difficult,” Dorsey said.

Port Orchard is required to update its Six Year Transportation Improvement Program annually in order to be eligible for certain federal and state grants.


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