Alta Street Department preparing for summer projects

Friday, May 8, 2020

At the May 4th Alta City Council meeting, the council voted to purchase a new snowplow truck to replace the main truck that is 17 years old and has 78,000 miles.

Street Department supervisor Brad Pedersen forwarded bids to the council before the April meeting, and at the May meeting the council voted to pay $92,518. to Iowa State Truck Center for the Western Star chassis and to spend another $68,580. to Steffen Truck Equipment, Inc., for the snowplow truck. The truck is expected to be delivered by November.

In researching, Pedersen said Western Star chassis are what Buena Vista County and neighboring counties are going to. “They are considered to be well-built,” he said.

Council members discussed the fact that Western Star costs more, but they value Pedersen’s opinion when he says it is a better-built product. Council Member Les Mann said, “I would really think a lot about what Brad thinks about the truck. He’s done a lot of research into it.”

Council members decided to purchase a blue truck with an orange stainless steel plow.

In other street department news:

• With the approach of summer, the usual two additional workers were hired to the street department to assist with summer projects. An ongoing project is the removal of dead and dying ash trees in town infected with the emerald ash borer. The infestation was detected within the last two years and has infected nearly all ash trees in Alta.

The total number of trees in the right-of-way that the city is removing year-around numbers 330, Pedersen said, and part of those have already been removed. “We started removing the trees last fall, and we take down as much as we can,” he said.

The street department puts the wood to good use. When the trees are removed, the larvae that remains in the wood are killed and he contacts people interested in acquiring it. The wood is given to people who use it for heat rather than for camping, Pedersen said.

• He is in the process of ordering street paint for city streets, and is preparing for water drainage projects and storm drain repair.

• At the May 4th city council meeting, the council approved a reimbursement of $1,490.90 to a homeowner to repair a backed-up sewer line north of Cherokee Street. One council member said it is the city’s issue and the city should pay for it. The council approved to have the claim turned in to insurance. Pedersen said he will continually check the lines, and the repair project will begin this week.

Former mayor Al Clark said at the city council meeting, “This is the reason we need to look at the infrastructure. We have to get serious,” he said of replacing the infrastructure. “It’s not going to fix itself on its own.”

• As is the standard during COVID-19, a few procedures have changed in the street department. “We try to keep our distance from each other, and we wash down door handles and clean equipment,” Pedersen said.