City’s street sweeper out of commission

Published 9:52 am Thursday, December 26, 2013

A downtown business owner’s complaint about the City of Ironton’s street sweeper being broken had a simple rebuttal: It’s expensive to fix.

Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship said the machine, which cost in excess of $100,000 new, is old and expensive to maintain.

“The street sweeper is one of the most expensive items to maintain in the city,” he said. “It’s old and has so many moving parts that when one part breaks, the whole machine is inoperable and we just can’t use it.”

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Blankenship said he plans to ask city council about replacing the seven-year-old machine in the future, but in the meantime basic debris removal in front of residences and businesses will have to done the old-fashioned way.

“The sweeper takes a beating every day and I know the citizens and business owners of Ironton love that machine,” he said. “If people would clean up leaves and other debris in front of their homes and businesses just occasionally it would go a long way in keeping the street sweeper going. It could really help us out if it didn’t have to suck up and sweep as much debris as it does.”

When dealing with a large, heavy, expensive and mechanically complex piece of machinery such as the street sweeper, Blankenship said, a breakdown is “the nature of the beast.”

“This time of year, leaves and things will gather in front of a home or business; there’s just no way around it,” Blankenship said. “Sweeping up leaves and debris prior to the sweeper coming through can go a long way in eliminating breakdowns.”

Blankenship urged any resident or business owner to call the mayor’s office with any and all concerns. “I will help them any way I can,” he said.