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DeKalb City Council OK's consultant for Public Works assessments

DeKALB – The City Council approved the Public Works Department’s request for proposal to hire a consulting firm to help assess maintenance for city-owned streets, facilities, stormwater systems and fleet vehicles during Monday’s meeting.

The request passed by a 6-1 vote with 1st Ward Alderman Dave Jacobson voting no. Sixth Ward Alderman Dave Baker was absent.

The aim is to develop an Asset Management Plan, which will cost between $60,000 and $80,000, to evaluate the restoration of these four city assets. Using this information, a funding source can be developed for the growing needs of these assets, both scheduled and nonscheduled.

Public Works director Tim Holdeman said the rate of deterioration of these assets is greater than the rate of replacement, resulting in an overall decline in the condition of these items and an increased cost of repairs.

“It actually threatens the ability to provide our core services to our community and to stop this, we need to have a dedicated revenue source to fund the replacement of our critical infrastructure,” Holdeman said.

Both new and current sources of revenue are being considered for this source, Holdeman added.

The city uses software to track the fuel, maintenance and labor costs of all vehicles in their fleet.

Facilities started being tracked in 2016 based on the building, grounds, equipment, preventative maintenance, reactive maintenance and scheduled maintenance.

There are about 138 miles of city-owned street and alleyways. Base conditions of all streets are assessed every six years and surface conditions are assessed every three, with the next assessment scheduled for 2018.

City Manager Anne Marie Gaura said the city has spent no more than $1.5 million on streets a year over the past two decades.

The city’s stormwater system includes about 200 miles of pipes, 3,960 manholes, 4,030 catch basins and 1,770 inlets.

Additional assets include 10 bridges and eight culverts, which were inspected in 2016 and given recommendations for repairs and cost estimates.

A qualified firm is required to have performed the required services laid out by the Public Works Department in other municipalities and have a minimum of 10 years of experience in asset management planning in other communities.

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