Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Hurley equipment replacement schedules to be reviewed


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Hurley — Strategies to ensure that vehicle and equipment replacement schedules are followed without cramping the city’s budget were discussed at the Hurley Board of Public Works meeting on Wednesday.

Scott Santini, the director of public works, said he would provide an updated vehicle and equipment replacement schedule within the month. The purpose is to inform the city council about the condition of items and the costs to replace them, used or new, to help guide decisions as funds are available.

Some of the priority items included a water line tracer and sewer camera that are over 20 years old and use VHS video tape. Other items include a mower, an air compressor, vactor truck and hopper, and a dump truck.

Mayor Jay Aijala said it is important to stick with a replacement schedule. The consequence of not sticking to the schedule may find the city in a position where they have to replace several items in one year.

“Let’s get them the equipment if we can afford it and not push this back,” said Tom Conhartoski, committee member. “I believe that we will be in a world of hurt if we do.”

Stacey Wiercinski, city clerk, suggested a budget workshop to focus on the schedules and planning together with the finance committee.

Gary Laguna, Hurley water manager, said a recent study found that if the city transitioned from an automatic meter reading system (AMR) to an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system then only one centralized collector would be necessary to collect readings on a daily basis. The current AMR system involves a city employee reading every meter directly, while an update to the AMI system would allow for electronic readings from metering points.

The study will provide support for grant applications, he said. The goal is to replace the metering system in 2021.

Laguna also informed the board about the lead service line replacement program. If the city is part of the program then reimbursement funds are available for residents who contract and complete a line replacement of lead water lines for up to $5,000 per household.

A city water audit was recently completed using free software through a state rural community assistance program. The data will be used for the city public works as well as grant applications and state reporting requirements.

Committee member Jamey Francis said that the recent sale of a residence brought the matter of standing water in the area where a culvert was installed two years ago. The committee is looking at the need for a second culvert or additional work on the existing culvert.