An additional expenditure for the Mt. Lebanon Public Works Facility renovation project has been rejected.
By a 2-1 vote on Tuesday, Mt. Lebanon commissioners decided against spending $76,623.92 for a lift and accessories to provide the public works department with the capability to elevate larger vehicles for service and maintenance.
Commissioner John Bendel voted for the measure, citing the potential for a favorable return on investment. Kelly Fraasch and Craig Grella were opposed, and Steve McLean and Steve Silverman were not present for the May 14 meeting.
Municipal manager Keith McGill sent an April 30 memo to commissioners outlining advantages of purchasing the lift, and staff members provided further elucidation during the discussion session preceding the commission’s regular meeting.
“The primary goal of that was to service the vehicles we do not service currently,” finance director Andrew McCreery said. “There’s actually, proof positive, going to be a reduction in cost that’s probably going to be made back in three to five years, easily.”
The savings would come from giving public works staff members the ability to perform in-house maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations and brake repairs on larger vehicles such as fire trucks, instead of paying outside contractors. McCreery and public works director had not run specific numbers prior to the discussion session, but said they could do so and then supply the information to commissioners.
Also discussed as a future possibility for the public works facility was an automated washing system for vehicles, which Sukal said would be especially beneficial for rinsing corrosive materials off their undercarriages.
“We’re seeing a lot of failure with brake pads, disc pads, rotors, drums,” he told commissioners, explaining that the oil pan of one truck recently was corroded to the point where it had to be replaced by the dealer, a process that entailed removing the engine.
With or without the automation, the new, larger bays that are part of the public works renovation will allow for cleaning road salt off of vehicles consistently throughout the winter.
“Right now, we’re washing vehicles outside with a fire hose,” Sukal said. “If it’s below freezing, we can’t wash the vehicles.”
A similarly manual process can continue, he explained, but it won’t provide a particularly effective means of washing undercarriages: “It will be better than what we have, but it’s not the ultimate solution to the problems we’ve seen with our vehicles.”
In other business at the commission’s regular meeting:
- At the recommendation of the Mt. Lebanon Traffic Board, commissioners approved the installation of three control signs.
“No stopping or standing” signs, effective from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. and 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. on school days, will be placed a minimum of 75 feet from both sides of the Ella Street crosswalk serving the drop-off and pickup area for Jefferson elementary and middle schools.
A no-parking sign with explanatory arrow will go on the southern side of Colonial Drive near its intersection with Overlook Drive, 62 feet in advance of the first driveway on Colonial. And a yield sign and stop sign will be added to the intersection of Driftwood and Boxwood drives.
- mmissioners authorized a $39,900 contract with Arch Masonry and Restoration Inc. of Bloomfield for repairs to the front façade of the Mt. Lebanon Municipal Building. The project addresses water leaks on the building’s Washington Ro
- ad side.