Council to discuss buying street sweeper

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2001

A resolution to purchase a street sweeper for the city will once again be on the agenda at tonight’s city council meeting.

Thursday, June 28, 2001

A resolution to purchase a street sweeper for the city will once again be on the agenda at tonight’s city council meeting.

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Although a motion to purchase a street sweeper for the city failed at the June 14 council meeting because of a lack of a second motion, the legislation will once again be brought before council.

The proposed ordinance is sponsored by council members Jim Tordiff and Bob Lipker. The ordinance calls for allowing the mayor to purchase a street sweeper and declaring an emergency reading. If the emergency reading is allowed – it takes six out of the seven council members to allow an emergency reading – the motion could go through all three readings at once instead of waiting for three separate readings for the ordinance to pass.

The reason for the legislation stems from a letter sent to the city from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, informing city officials that the city was out of compliance with certain standards.

Council chair Jim Tordiff said the ordinance stems from Monday night’s finance committee meeting. Tordiff said, "I still feel it is an important issue for the waste water department to be in compliance with the EPA’s directives," and he hopes the measure could have more discussion in the council meeting.

Last December, Mayor Bob Cleary and the city’s waste water superintendent John Haskins received a letter from the OEPA stating the city has failed to meet two of nine minimum controls as a part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits held by the city. The permits allows the city to discharge storm water directly into the Ohio River.

Trash and debris from the streets are a part of the problem. Litter is trapped in catch basins in storm sewers. The catch basins are designed to hold the everyday debris gathered on the road. The catch basins become overfilled when grass clippings, leaves, soda cans and bottles and other litter finds its way to into them.

If the debris goes into storm sewers, then the trash goes directly to the Ohio River, adding to pollution. If the litter goes into the combination sewer/storm water lines, then the trash goes to the waste water treatment plant were filters screen some of the heavier material and items that pass through the filter has to be treated before it is released back into the river.

The state’s EPA office has cited: "control of solid and floatable materials in the CSO discharge" and "proper operation and maintenance programs for the sewer system and CSO points."

The letter from the EPA states that a street sweeping program was listed in the City’s Combined Sewer Overflow Operation and Maintenance Plan dated January, 1998. Since then, the city has not had a street sweeper program. The EPA recommends " A regular street sweeping program should be implemented immediately to bring the City in compliance with this minimum control."

The EPA also recommends more preventive maintenance programs to bring the city into compliance with the other part of the deficiencies the EPA listed. The letter states: "At this time, with the limited number of employees in the collection system, only reactive maintenance and regular cleaning of problem areas can be accomplished. The City needs to be able to perform preventive maintenance to the sewer system before this minimum control can be considered in compliance."

To read EPA letters, click here.