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Council split over sale of street sweeper

March 6, 2013
Morning Journal News

SALINEVILLE - On its third and final reading, village ordinance 002-2013 - approving the sale of a village owned street sweeper - passed after a tie vote of 3 to 3 by council.

Mayor Mary Smith broke the tie at Monday's Village Council meeting voting yes to approve the sale. Councilmen Tom Hays, Jim Howdershelt and Zeb Locklear voted no, while Rick Beadle, Sally Keating and Craig Roberts voted yes.

Howdershelt stated that the street sweeper could be worth $10,000 plus and that the village putting it up for bid will result in getting less than its value.

"It's a good solid machine and its got good brushes on it and they want to sell it for whatever they can get out of a bid on it," said Councilman Tom Hays after Monday's meeting.

Those councilmen in favor of keeping the street sweeper have argued that the village has a 'one man street crew' in street administrator Ralph Ross and that the only alternative to using the street sweeper is to have him sweep the streets by hand.

"I'd rather have Ross spend an hour running the street sweeper then spending four days sweeping it by hand and I just can't understand why they want to get rid of it, it just doesn't make sense to me."

"Those who gave Ralph Ross ice water last summer while he swept the streets by hand better be ready to do the same for him this year if they choose to sell the sweeper," added Howdershelt.

Reached for comment after Monday's council meeting, Beadle disagreed with the estimated value Hays and others in favor of keeping the street sweeper had placed on it.

He also stated that a prior village administration was responsible for its purchase and suggested that some aspects of its purchase had been handled improperly. "Close to three years ago they (prior administration) traded a bunch of equipment that we (the village) had at the (street administration) building and they purchased that with the trade," said Beadle adding, "That was never brought in front of council that was done between the mayor and a few council people."

Beadle also claimed that the street sweeper was not in good condition and the street administrator did not want to operate it. "Basically our street employee says he does not want to operate it and it is not operable."

The village must advertise the street sweeper in several area papers for an amount of time stipulated by village law and accept bids on it.

Village code states that if the village wishes to sell any piece of property valued at more than $1,000 they must put it up for bid.



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