New Franklin council approves pre-wetting systems for city roads

New Franklin hopes to be more efficient with its salt usage moving forward.

During the Dec. 5 meeting, City Council approved spending approximately $115,000 for eight pre-wetting systems and for one truck to be able to brine the streets before snow and ice events. In addition, the city will also have a brine storage tank to hold the solution.

The purchase comes as many communities around the area are seeing higher salt prices and are only receiving a portion of what was ordered as a salt shortage is possible at some point this winter.

New Franklin Deputy Service Director Bryan Kepler said by doing pre-treating and mixing water with salt, it will cut down on man hours and the amount of salt being used. He said the application that is sprayed down before a snow is good for about three days.

The easy brine stainless hydraulic brine maker system from Pengwyn will come through the Ohio state bid program. Starting out, the city will pre-treat state and county roads and maybe in the future begin pre-treating all the roads.

So far this winter, the city has used about 150 tons of salt as the price of salt is $105 per ton.

Councilman Jim Cotts said he wasn’t sure if the city has enough roads to do something like this and wondered how long it will take for the city to get its money back from the investment. Mayor Paul Adamson said it is hard to predict, but he expects savings in the long term.

The cost covers the installation of the systems on the trucks and training for employees.

Last year, the city picked up 102 lane miles of road from Summit County as it ended a contract with the county for snow removal.

Cotts said that other areas that have started using this system have loved the savings that comes with it.

In other business Dec. 5, council:

– Heard a presentation from Holly Miller from the Summit County Executive Office. She gave an overview of several county programs such as the lead-based paint program and home winterization program. Information on these programs and many more can be found by dialing 211 or by visiting https://co.summitoh.net.

– Approved to expand the purpose of the Capital Projects Fund for the Franklin Park Civic Center to include all capital projects at the Franklin Park Civic Center. Adamson said the fund created several years ago was set up to be used strictly for a pavilion. He said the fund is still limited to that area, but it can now be used for other capital projects.

– Approved to increase the wage scale for the position of winter seasonal maintenance worker. This will allow for the wage to increase from $15 to $16.50 per hour to $15 to $18 per hour depending on experience. The city is looking to hire three winter workers and recently received applications from five people. Adamson said this is a small pool of people to consider for the positions. He said he doesn’t expect to pay everyone $18, but he wants to be able to retain good people. Those interested in the position must have a CDL. New Franklin Finance Director Susan Cooke said she is opposed to the change and said it is “over the top.” Cotts said by expanding the pay, the city may get a more qualified person and a bigger application pool. Councilman Andrew Fetterman cast the only no vote on the legislation.

– Approved three amendments to the New Franklin Zoning Code.

– Approved a three-year labor agreement between the city of New Franklin and Local 348 of the Teamsters Union.

– Approved additional appropriations to the 2018 annual operating appropriations budget.

– Approved a transfer of funds from the General Fund to the Police District Fund.

– Approved amending the pick up of the statutorily required contribution to the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund for city police employees who are members of the bargaining unit represented by the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association patrol/corporal and Sargent/Lieutenant units.

– Approved amending the pickup of the statutorily required contribution to the Ohio public employee’s retirement system for the city police employees who are members of the bargaining unit represented by the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association patrol/corporal and Sargent/Lieutenant units.

The next New Franklin Council meeting is set to begin immediately following the committee meetings, which are scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 19 at New Franklin City Hall.

___________________________________________________________

This story was also published in The Suburbanite. www.thesuburbanite.com