The District of Houston is buying a used street sweeper for $80,000.
During budget meetings in November 2013, council discussed contracting out the street sweeping work, but found that buying a sweeper themselves would save more money.
Director of Engineering and Development Services John Guenther said they advertised to contractors and got only one bid, costing $106,400 per year with an hourly rate of $142.
Guenther said the District could buy a used 2006 Elgin Crosswind street sweeper for $80,000 plus taxes and perform the work for an annual cost of $50,000.
The total cost is $70,000 annually for seven years.
Mayor Bill Holmberg and Councillor Kyle Thomson said they were disappointed there were not more bids from contractors.
“I’m a little disappointed that no body put in a competitive price. I’m not really into buying a street sweeper,” Thomson said.
Asked about the condition of the current 23-year-old District sweeper, Guenther said it’s not working.
“Parts are difficult to find and it’s been patched together for a number of years,” he said.
Director of Finance William Wallace said Vimar Equipment, the company they would buy the Elgin sweeper from, has the most business in the province with street sweepers for local governments.
“I would buy this one. It’s pretty reliable,” Guenther said.
All council voted in favour to buy the sweeper, except Kyle Thomson, and the costs fit into the District 2014 to 2018 Financial Plan.