Category Archives: Street.Maintenance

CSEA plans for winter storm, warmer contract talk

Source: Rikki N. Massand, Garden City News, January 4, 2018 

The time of year when municipal operations including salt spreading and snow cleanup to landscaping come into focus is upon Garden City, amidst a labor negotiations standstill between the civil service employee union and the village that is now pushing five full years. … Robert LoDolce, president of the CSEA Rank & File Unit Local 882 (Garden City) unit spoke with the News a day before the snowfall. … He stated that employees who may have decades of experience in the Village of Garden City have built up a vested interest and commitment to their jobs and municipal operations, while outside contractors are operating on their individual business needs and budgets.  The CSEA Local 882 Rank & File has worked without a contract with the village since 2012 and LoDolce says the workforce diligently carries out all their responsibilities in Garden City. … This week he advised that due to allocation of the workforce related to subcontractors the village has brought in, the CSEA has filed an improper labor practice claim that will be heard in 2018 by P.E.R.B., the Public Employees Relations Board “regarding the outsourcing of bargaining units’ type of work to private contractor. He specifically refers to the contract for Con-Kel Landscaping that has been bid recently by the Village of Garden City after their initial year of work, and the scope of work is set to expand from 91 acres of passive greenspace areas (village parcels) to 114 municipal acres. …

In need of workers, Maine hires contractors to plow roads

Source: Associated Press, December 13, 2017
Worker shortages in Maine have forced the state Department of Transportation to hire private contractors to plow roads.  The Portland Press Herald reports the state Department of Transportation has awarded a contract to the Ohio-based company First Vehicle Services. The contractors will work in southern Maine.  MDOT has struggled to keep highway workers in recent years. The department currently has 50 open positions. …

City workers, not contractors rebuild Centerville storm drains

Source: Sharon Wilmore Buggs, Dayton Daily News, January 5, 2014
(subscription required)

Centerville says it will use street maintenance crews again this summer to rebuild deteriorated catch basins. The city decided last summer to use city employees for the work following problems with hired contractors, Rob James, public works director said. The inspector in the engineering division who was doing inspection work on the city’s construction projects was spending a lot of time with the contracted catch basin crew, James said. That kept him from getting around to other projects that needed inspection. To address the problem, city crews were trained to make the repairs. Once they were trained, the inspector didn’t have to handle those inspections, James said. Centerville’s street program budget is $1.6 million, James said. The budget covers all road work including asphalt resurfacing, concrete repair and major street projects. The city has not yet conducted a cost analysis to determine if keeping the work in-house is saving taxpayers money, James said. Kent Scarrett, director of communications for the Ohio Municipal League, said he hasn’t seen an uptick in local governments insourcing more work. He said cities constantly are weighing how to best use resources. …

Cottonwood Heights to use govt plows after privatization complaints

Source: Jim Dalrymple II, Salt Lake Tribune, December 5, 2013

Cottonwood Heights’ experiment with privatized snow removal will become a little less private this weekend as two government agencies step in to help residents left out in the cold during a recent storm.

City leaders announced a plan Thursday to bring in Salt Lake County to help plow streets and chip away hardened ice. The arrangement comes after residents and leaders alike slammed the response of Terracare — a private company hired earlier this fall to handle the city’s public works — to a snowstorm that hit Tuesday.

Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore said Terracare’s snow removal was poorly executed, while residents complained of unprecedented bad service and called the situation a failure for privatized public works….

Penfield aims to privatize plow route

Source: WHAM, December 4, 2013

Penfield’s town operators could soon have a lighter load, but that’s not what they want….LaFountain added that the town has been using contractors for various jobs related to other departments. The town could save approximately $6,000 by using a contractor, according to LaFountain. … Penfield has 17 plow routes. The change would impact one for this year, according to LaFountain….
Web Essay: Keep snowplowing in town workers’ hands
Source: Flo Tripi – CSEA Western Region president, Democrat and Chronicle, November 13, 2013

…Penfield residents deserve the high quality and reliable services that Penfield highway workers provide. With town employees caring for our streets, residents never have to worry about being stuck in their driveways, unable to go to work, to school, or anywhere else they need to be. Our town workers are professional, efficient and the best people for the job. Penfield employees provide quality, timely service when residents need those services the most. Penfield residents: Do not let the Town Board make a terrible mistake by privatizing your snow plow service….

Open the Competition: Insourcing Is the New Outsourcing

Source: Clare Crawford, Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI), Blog, July 25, 2012

Four times, the city of San Diego has pitted city workers against private companies in a competition for the continued responsibility to provide an essential city service. All four times, the city workers have proved that they –as U-T San Diego put it last week – “provide taxpayers with the best bang for their buck.”…

….A significant share of the city’s general fund budget – $176 million in the past year – goes to pay private contractors and consultants.

In fact, the next service on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ “managed competition” auction block – street and sidewalk maintenance – is already substantially outsourced. The city’s fiscal year 2012 budget shows $43.6 million spent on contracts in the transportation and stormwater department, compared to $38.4 million for employee wages and benefits. Much of that contract expense is for major street resurfacing projects…..

…The top two reasons city managers bring privatized work back in-house, according to a survey by the International City/County Management Association, are unsatisfactory service quality (61 percent) and insufficient cost savings (52 percent). For example:
– Evansville, Ind., took back control of its water and sewer system from a private operator in 2010, for an estimated savings of $14 million over five years.
– Atlanta dissolved its water system contract 16 years early because of mismanagement and poor service under a private company.
– A Pennsylvania study this March found the state could save $78 million by insourcing school bus services.
– Locally, the San Diego Unified School District has saved $1 million a year since bringing bus services in-house in 2010.
– The San Diego Community College District has saved at least $900,000 a year by insourcing its IT management….

The Private Takeover That Hasn’t Happened: Fact Check

Source: Keegan Kyle, Voice of San Diego, June 12, 2012

….Discussing the suits during a recent interview with KPBS, Goldsmith said he wanted to avoid the legal delays that followed approval of a 2006 initiative that allowed San Diego to put city services out to bid to see whether the private sector could do them cheaper. The process is also known as managed competition….We decided to Fact Check Goldsmith’s claim that city employees had won all the bids…. The city has assessed private and public bids for three services — street sweeping, publishing and vehicle maintenance — and awarded the contract to city employees each time….The city is now in the process of evaluating bids for four other services: customer support for public utilities, Miramar Landfill operations, street and sidewalk maintenance, and other maintenance of public infrastructure. Each contract is scheduled to be awarded sometime next year.

Highway repair to go private?

Source: Robert Vitale, Columbus Dispatch, June 3, 2012

State transportation officials are considering paying private contractors to plow snow, fill potholes and take over maintenance of I-270 in central Ohio and a 100-mile stretch of I-71 between Columbus and Cincinnati. …. Every year, Ohio spends $5,253 on maintenance for each mile of each lane of state, federal and interstate highway within its borders.

That amounts to $1.9 million on I-270 and more than $6.4 million for the Columbus-to-Cincinnati stretch of I-71.Private contractors would be considered to perform every maintenance job along the highways, including removing dead animals, painting lane markers, spreading road salt, laying new asphalt and performing minor repairs….
Editorial: Take the best road / State should consider cost and quality of privatizing road upkeep
Source: Dispatch, Wednesday June 6, 2012

Kasich Administration Advanced Privatization in Ohio in 2011

Source: Leonard Gilroy, Reason Foundation, May 15, 2012

Initiatives advanced in economic development, asset realignment and more. Initiatives include: JobsOhio, Corrections, Ohio Turnpike, and Ohio Lottery.
– …[T]he budget authorized state higher education institutions to privatize dormitories and other facilities, while authorizing K-12 schools to privatize their transportation services. Similarly, the budget also authorized local governments and other units of government to enter into long-term leases up to 30 years in length to privatize the operations and management of their garages, meters and other municipal parking assets. Ohio State University may be the first to take advantage of the new authority, as university trustees have authorized a procurement for a potential 50-year lease of their parking system…
– Gov. Kasich signed into law House Bill 114, authorizing the Ohio Department of Transportation to enter into public-private partnerships to finance, design, build, operate and/or maintain highways, bridges and other transportation infrastructure statewide.
– Gov. Kasich is reportedly considering subleasing the operation of the Ohio Academic Resources Network–a nearly 2,000-mile fiber optic system connecting universities, schools, medical centers and research facilities–to private businesses, according to local press reports.

Christie Administration Expanded Privatization Portfolio in New Jersey in 2011

Source: Leonard Gilroy, Reason Foundation, May 15, 2012

Initiatives advanced in toll collection, road maintenance, racing facilities and more… Major current and recent privatization initiatives advanced in New Jersey include: Highway Maintenance, State Parks, Manual Toll Collection, State-Run Horse Racing Facilities, New Jersey Lottery, Vehicle Fleet Ownership, Operation and Maintenance, Correctional Food Services Pilot Project, Child Support Payment/Receipt Processing, Montclair State University Housing PPP, New Jersey Network, and NJ Transit Parking.