Village of Wauconda Village Services Committee met May 1.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
Committee Members: Chairman Arnswald, Deputy Chair Schlick, Trustee Morino, and Chas Buschick
Staff Liaison: Village Administrator Timony, Director of Public Works Fink
1. Call to Order – Chairman Arnswald called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm. Committee members in attendance were Chairman Arnswald, Deputy Chair Schlick, Trustee Morino, and member Buschick. Also in attendance were Trustees Howe, Black, and Starkey, Village Administrator Timony, and Director of Public Works Fink.
2. Approval of Minutes - Chairman Arnswald asked if everyone had an opportunity to review the minutes for the March 6, 2018 Village Services Committee meeting and if there were any corrections or changes. Trustee Morino noted a correction to the spelling of his name. No other corrections or changes were noted and the minutes were approved.
3. Old Business:
a. Discussion on the 9/11 Memorial Storyboard Fabrication
Director Fink opened the discussion by reviewing the previous Committee discussion on the 9/11 storyboards, including the size and designs. He shared some sample depictions for the Committee’s review. Trustee Howe asked if the proposed font matches the font on the plaques at the memorial. Director Fink responded yes. Chairman Arnswald advised that the plaques should be fabricated in landscape format vs. portrait. He then asked about the pricing. Director Fink replied that each storyboard is $395 in the fusion cast material. Trustee Howe added that the fusion cast and bronze materials looked almost identical and that there is no noticeable difference between the two. He asked if these would be mounted in-house and Director Fink replied yes. Director Fink stated that the turnaround time for the fabrication and delivery is about six weeks. Chairman Arnswald asked the Committee if all are ok with the fusion cast versus bronze and the committee agreed the fusion cast was acceptable. Trustee Howe concluded the discussion by stating that the Committee will need to decide where to invoice the work for the storyboards once completed. He continued that the Heroes of Freedom organization have a fiduciary obligation to pay for these storyboards as promised to the residents of Wauconda.
4. New Business:
a. Street Sweeper Cost Analysis
Village Administrator Timony began the discussion by reviewing the previously provided cost analysis which compared purchasing a new street sweeper and continuing services in- house versus transitioning services to a private contractor. He stated that this analysis was completed as the Village is due to purchase a new street sweeper in 2018 and noted that this exercise is not a commentary on the quality of the current service being provided by the Public Works Streets Division, but instead is an attempt to find cost-saving options for the Village. He shared the conclusion of the analysis which provided that over the short- term (10-years) and long-term (20-years) that the private contractor option would save the Village approximately $109,000 and $250,000 respectively. He also shared the results of a community survey of neighboring municipalities regarding street sweeping services. He noted that the survey results showed that three of the 15 survey respondents provide street sweeping services using in-house equipment and personnel and that 11 of the 15 respondents utilize the services of a private contractor. Administrator Timony concluded by sharing that the median number of sweeping rounds among the surveyed communities is six, and stated that if the Village were to reduce the amount of annual rounds from the current 10 down to six, that the short and long-term savings would increase to approximately $219,000 and $480,000 respectively.
Chairman Arnswald asked if the analysis covers special event services. Administrator Timony replied that the analysis only reflects normal sweeping services and that special and emergency services were not added to keep the study comparable for both options. Trustee Starkey asked if the Village currently invoices special event organizers for street sweeping services. Director Fink replied that the Village invoices for labor only and not the equipment itself. Deputy Chair Schlick asked if reducing annual service to six rounds from the current 10 would extend the life of the sweeper. Director Fink responded that this is possible, but no way to know for sure. Trustee Howe added that he does not usually notice the streets have been cleaned after a typical street sweeping round. Deputy Chair Schlick added that he also does not usually notice.
Trustee Morino asked what the cost benefit of the savings is to the Village. He added that the Village needs to determine if the savings is worth the convenience of having the street sweeper readily available through the in-house option. Chairman Arnswald asked if water main breaks are expected to increase once the Village switched to Lake Michigan water. Director Fink responded that historically breaks do increase. Chairman Arnswald stated that there would be a benefit to have our own sweeper for the flexibility associated with water main breaks.
Jacob Mann from the Public Works Department was in the audience and commented that the street sweeper provides other benefits to the Village beyond cleaning streets. He stated that the operation of the sweeper allows crews to see the roads on a more consistent basis that could potentially identify issues. He also stated that the sweeper helps with the Village’s NPDES permit compliance.
Trustee Black asked if the Village could share a sweeper with another community such as Lake Zurich. Trustee Starkey stated that the Village could always test the private option first and if it does not work out switch back to the in-house model. Trustee Howe commented that based on the potential for an increase in water main breaks that the Village could test the private option now and the six rounds and keep the current sweeper as a back- up to respond to water main breaks. He continued that if the private model does not work out that the Village could always switch back later to the in-house model. Director Fink stated that the condition and reliability of the current sweeper worries him as a back-up option. Trustee Starkey asked why the Village sweeps 10 times per year when other communities only sweep six.
Deputy Chair Schlick commented that the potential savings is hard to overlook, in particular the $400,000+ over 20-years; however, he is hearing that the Committee may value the flexibility over the savings. Trustee Howe stated he recommends staying on target for the purchase of a new street sweeper and keeping accurate data for another analysis 10 years from now. Deputy Chair Schlick stated that he does not believe the potential cost savings will be eaten-up in call-outs and maintenance. Trustee Morino commented that the potential Lake Michigan water breaks and subsequent call-outs worries him. Trustee Howe added that the main breaks from Lake Michigan Water are the x-factor and that around years seven or eight the Village will still have a serviceable sweeper for extra call-outs if needed and that he would like to see a better data set.
Deputy Chair Schlick asked what option the Committee would like to send to the Village Board. Trustee Howe advised that he recommends moving forward as originally planned and to use data collected over time to see where this decision lands in the future and to potentially revisit this decision at the seven-year mark. He added that he feels this is the most prudent way to proceed. Deputy Chair Schlick recommended that the Village try the private contractor option and that if it does not work after a year or two that the Village could then switch back and purchase a sweeper. Mr. Buschick commented that he believes the Village needs to look at the big picture with this decision, including the budget impact. He continued that he does not believe the proposed maintenance costs in the analysis are high enough and that these costs will offset any of the call-out costs. He added that the private option would also not result in any lay-offs or a loss of service, which is a plus. He recommended that the Village try the private option for one year to see how it works.
At the conclusion of the discussion Chairman Arnswald asked staff to look further into how the potential call-out costs would reduce the potential savings and to see what these costs look like in other contracts. He asked to have these numbers for the next Village Services meeting for continued discussion.
5. Public Comment. There were no public comments shared with the Committee.
6. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 6:45 pm.