The St. Louis County Board has unanimously approved the purchase of 12 new tandem trucks to be used for snow plowing and ice control, as well as hauling gravel.
The total purchase price is $1.59 million.
The new trucks will replace existing trucks that are all at least 20 years old. The purchase is being accelerated because of the time it takes to build and equip the trucks — typically at least nine months. The new vehicles are expected to be ready and added to the fleet next winter.
“This purchase is a sizable investment, and because of that is something we’ve been discussing for months,” said Commissioner Mike Jugovich, who chairs the Public Works Committee. “It’s a coincidence that the final vote comes on the heels of a major storm, but if ever there’s proof of why we need this, we’re seeing it now.”
As part of the proposed 2020 budget, which the Board is expected to approve in two weeks, funding for equipment will increase by $2 million, reflecting the board’s ongoing commitment to ensure the Public Works fleet is ready and capable to provide the appropriate level of service even in extreme winter conditions, such as were experienced this past weekend.
As an update on road conditions following the weekend storm, all public roads plowed by the county, including township roads were plowed as of Monday. Tuesday operations are focused on further cleaning up paved roads, pushing back snow at intersections to improve sight distance safety, as well as plowing private driveways and road association roads. Further clean up is expected to last the remainder of the week, with continued focus on improving paved roads and intersections, and clearing sidewalks.
As clean up continues, the public is reminded to use extra caution at intersections where large snow banks may limit views of oncoming vehicles.
St. Louis County Public Works is responsible for maintaining 3,000 miles of roads.