Street sweeper of the kind that will soon make its appearance locally thanks to its purchase by the District of Houston. (Submitted photo/Houston Today)

Street sweeper of the kind that will soon make its appearance locally thanks to its purchase by the District of Houston. (Submitted photo/Houston Today)

New street sweeper ordered by District of Houston

Current one is no longer cost effective

A new street sweeper will be making its way to Houston following a District of Houston council decision that maintaining the one the District now has does not make any financial sense.

At $379,068, which works out to $350,000 plus taxes, a 2022 Elgin Elgin Pelican model sweeper is cost effective given what is spent now each year to maintain a 2006 model and also to contract out sweeping.

That 2006 model, also a Pelican, was bought for $85,600 in 2014 and cost $31,191 in repair and maintenance costs last year and so far this year has cost $14,371.

“In addition, the District has been incurring coss to contract out sweeping services. In 2021 that cost was $32,000 and in 2022 to date has been $43,000,” District finance director Jennifer Larson outline in a memo considered by council at its June 7 meeting.

Delivery will take seven to eight months so, realistically, the new sweeper will be ready for service next spring.

Council had two options to pay for the 2022 Pelican — all at once from reserves and a District surplus or paying a certain amount from the reserves and surplus and borrowing the rest from the Municipal Finance Authority which can offer an attractive rate of interest.

Larson told council that financing a portion means the cost of the payments will be included in the District’s operating expenditures.

In the end, council decided to pay $130,000 outright and finance the remainder though the Municipal Finance Authority.

The model being purchased is powered by a John Deere 4.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. The engine is also capable of operating on bio-diesel.

Manufactuer’s specifications indicate the hopper into which material will be deposited is 3.6 cubic yards in size and has a 9,000 pound capacity.