By ROY WOOD
The folks in town works town departments will have to wait a while to get their hands on a half-million-dollar piece of high-utility equipment that does all manner of jobs in the water, sewer and public works areas.
According to a report to Oliver council from chief financial officer Doug Leahy, “Staff have highly prioritized the need for a Vactor truck to perform various tasks critical for efficient and effective operations of the public works department.”
Leahy assured council this afternoon that the needed $525,000 is available in various reserve funds and revenue from the provincial gas tax.
There was general consensus among councillors in favour of the Vactor truck purchase. But because of the financial and general uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 crisis, council voted to defer consideration of the purchase until later in the year.
Mayor Martin Johansen said the truck is “piece of equipment we should get or the town.”
He added, however, that the priority now is making sure the town has “the financial resources to deal with whatever we have to deal with resulting from Covid-19.”
“Being cautious is the best way to go right now,” echoed Councillor Petra Veintimilla.
According to Leahy’s report, a Vactor truck is a “specialized piece of equipment that has revolutionized the way public works is allowed to carry out routine maintenance of the town’s infrastructure.”
Some of the tasks a Vector truck can do include:
- Service digs for water, sewer and other repairs or installations;
- Catch basin cleaning;
- Tree planting;
- Sewer line flushing;
- Sewer lift station maintenance;
- Storm line/culvert cleaning;
- Provide water at sites for different uses including pressure washing;
- Water canal cleaning (during spring clean-up);
- Potential debris clean-up (flooding); and
- Emergency backup (replacing some septic trucks) for sewer system.
According to the report, the province offers a financing program that could be used rather than paying for truck in one fiscal year.
The Municipal Finance Authority program offers low interest rates and the ability to finance the purchase over up to five years.