Chatham takes do-it-yourself approach to roads

CHATHAM–With already more than a dozen snow plow or street sanding days this winter, Highway Department issues dominated the January 17 Town Board meeting.

Highway Superintendent Joe Rickert proposed purchasing a used paver to decrease the cost of upcoming paving projects. “I’m always looking for ways to save money… and find the best use for taxpayer dollars,” he said.

Mr. Rickert said a used 2002 paver with 1,800 hours is available “work ready” for $28,000.

The town budgeted $300,000 for three paving projects in 2013 using outside crews and equipment. These three paving projects have been cited by the Town Board as the reason for the town’s 14.1% property tax increase this year.

Mr. Rickert said the cost of the used paver would pay for itself with just these three projects, since he could then use the town’s salaried highway crew for the work.

The highway superintendent projected the used paver would last for 10,000 work hours, meaning it would still function for another 8,200 hours.

The four-member board, minus Supervisor Jesse DeGroodt who was absent due to illness, told Mr. Rickert to research the purchase further.

“Go take a look,” said council member Bob Balcom.

Mr. Rickert also asked the board to watch a video after the meeting of a relatively new piece of equipment called an “Asphalt Zipper.”

“This machine could be the last piece of the puzzle to reclaiming our gravel roads,” he said.

In other business in the brief meeting, the board:

Accepted a bid of $30,110 from Ghent Wood products for the sale of a used loader

Rejected all bids submitted for three used pick-up trucks due to a listing error

Approved a resolution to allow the highway superintendent to trade Highway Department labor with other towns for the next four years

Approved a request for Code Enforcement Officer Walter Simonsmeier to attend a conference in Lake Placid for $464 plus mileage

Tabled a public hearing on the town’s mass gathering law until the board’s next regular meeting February 21 at 7 p.m.



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