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Manteca replacing aging, dirty running street sweepers with $500,000 grant
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Sweeping Manteca’s streets will soon be done with clean machines.

The City Council Tuesday is expected to call for bids to purchase two new street sweepers for a cost expected to come under $500,000. The council meets at 7 p.m. at The Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The city’s two aging street sweepers are in need of replacement. They also don’t meet the more stringent air quality standards just as the aging garbage trucks don’t.

However, it won’t cost the city a penny to replace the street sweepers.

That’s because both are being funded with a $500,000 Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality grant from the state.

The city has sufficient funds in its solid waste account to cover the cost of the diesel-powered trucks that will have cleaning burning engines.  Once the city receives the state funds, it will reimburse the sewer account.

Street sweeping was removed from the street division in the general fund and placed in the solid waste collection division operated using an enterprise account last year after an independent legal opinion determined that 97 percent of the costs could be attributed to the removal of debris. That move also shifted the salaries of two street sweepers from the cash-strapped general fund to the enterprise account that is covered by rates paid by users of the municipal garbage collection service.

Manteca in May purchased a diesel hydraulic hybrid rear loader solid waste collection truck for $282,702. It is the first truck added to the solid waste fleet designed to meet looming tougher air quality standards. The state mandate for cities and private contractors to switch to cleaner engines for refuse collection trucks could cost Manteca in excess of $2 million over several years.

Maintenance costs for the 19-year-old truck that was replaced exceeded over $15,000 a year.

Diesel-hydraulic hybrids are ideally suited for heavy vehicles that start and stop often. The technology typically yields fuel savings between 17 and 28 percent depending upon the conditions. It can also extend brake life by as much as 400 percent. It also reduces tire wear.

Manteca is expected to be able to absorb much of the $2 million impact due to conservative fiscal management of the garbage collection enterprise funds.

A pre-emptive move to cut labor costs in all of the city’s enterprise operations – including sewer, water, and the golf course – is helping Manteca avoid rate increases induced by The Great Recession that other cities are now pondering.