London council votes to buy two new trash trucks

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(Posted July 8, 2020)

By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer

The city of London soon will get new trash trucks.

At their July 2 meeting, city council members voted on a piece of legislation in emergency that allows the city’s Board of Public Utilities to apply for a loan to purchase two front loading trash trucks. The loan is set to not exceed $660,000. The trucks the city is looking to purchase cost $317,000 each.

The decision was met with applause from members of the city’s sanitation department who voiced concerns at the meeting about the condition of the city’s existing trash trucks. Workers described aging vehicles with several issues, including one truck with a hole worn into the floorboard.

Council member Anthony Smith said new trucks are needed for a number of reasons, one being that the city’s trucks are “way overweight” with the current pickup loads.

“Right now, our trucks are riding close to DOT (Department of Transportation) inspection,” Smith said. “We would absolutely fail.”

He said that trucks inside and outside the city limits are exceeding weight limits which puts wear and tear on roads and the truck frames.

The current trucks have single axles. The new trucks will have dual axles. Purchasing trucks at a larger size will help with the weight of the garbage collected, Smith added.

The other major issue with the city’s existing fleet of trucks is repair costs. London’s newest truck was purchased in 2014 and the oldest is from 1994. The city spends $60,000 to $65,000 per year to maintain and repair them.

Lifespan is a concern, too.

“The issues you’re bringing in with used trucks is the average lifespan of the trucks,” Smith said. “Five years, you’re spending money. That’s why we pushed our warranties to go to five years.”

The city plans to purchase two trucks with front loading capabilities, in part, Smith said, to ensure that the city gets more commercial contracts for trash removal.  The idea is to have more than one truck with that capability in case one breaks down.

“Why miss out on $25,000 of additional revenue when we can get two trucks and we’ve got it and don’t have to worry about it?” Smith said.

Council passed the resolution in emergency which will allow the city to receive the new trucks by September rather than November if they went through the traditional three-readings process.

Council also agreed to put a $130,000 down payment on the trucks. Smith said council’s goal is to have the trucks “aggressively paid off” in the next two to three years.

In other action, council passed a resolution that transfers $207,301 reimbursed to the city from the Ohio Public Works Commission from the general fund to the municipal street fund.

Council also passed an ordinance requesting COVID-19 relief funds from the CARES (Corona Virus Relief and Economic Security) Act.

The following London city council, committee and commission meetings are scheduled to take place at city hall, 20 S. Walnut St. Due to COVID-19, the Ohio General Assembly continue to change and adapt rules regarding public meetings. The city will comply with the rules in place at the time of each meeting.

If change occurs, a 24-hour notice will be posted at facebook.com/LondonOhioGovtServices and londonohio.gov/city-meeting-schedule.

  • Historic downtown revitalization committee–July 14, 5 p.m., conference room;
  • Public safety committee–July 14, 6 p.m., conference room;
  • City council–July 16, 6:30 p.m., council chambers; and
  • Board of public utilities–July 23, 6:30 p.m., conference room.

This month’s historic review board, tree commission, and city properties committee meetings have been cancelled.

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