Lake County cities sharing their heavy equipment: Whatever happened to …?
By Peter Krouse
Whatever happened to a study commissioned by Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost that explored the idea of Lake County municipalities sharing their heavy equipment, such as road graders and street sweepers?
The study turned into a resolution that the county and 23 of its cities, villages and townships have adopted.
The idea is to help localities save money in cash-strapped times. If one city has a backhoe it’s not using, it can share it with a neighbor who then won’t have to go out and buy or rent one.
The state auditor’s office is developing software that will track equipment inventory across the county and indicate what items are available at a given time.
Not everybody has the same needs.
Willoughby Hills, for instance, has a backhoe, a sewer-cleaning machine and a mower with a hydraulic arm that can reach over and cut grass on the other side of guardrails, said Mayor Robert Weger last year.
What the city doesn’t have, but could borrow if necessary, are items such as a sewer-camera truck, bulldozer and asphalt spreader, he said.
The sewer-camera truck alone might cost more than $200,000 if the city had to buy one, Weger said.
Mentor-on-the-Lake also has backhoes and a sewer cleaner, then-Mayor John Rogers said last year, but the city’s lift truck went kaput a while back so borrowing one from Painesville, which has more than one, might make sense.
One of the most important pieces of equipment in Northeast Ohio are snow plows. But Weger doesn’t think there will be much sharing of them because everybody will be needing their own at the same time.
The shared services resolution "really formalizes an agreement that was basically a verbal agreement between communities," said Rogers, who is now a state representative.
The resolution doesn’t obligate municipalities to share, so why have it?
"Well, because there’s a lot of lawyers our there," Rogers said, and the resolution includes language that indemnifies the loaning municipality if something goes wrong.
Yost said he selected Lake County for his shared-services pilot program because it already "had a very rich infrastructure of relationships."
"They had already talked about the issues surrounding this kind of idea," he said.
Yost said he wants to come back after a year and depending on how the system is working in Lake County, introduce it to other counties in the state.
Caterpillar to Feature the Latest in Engine Technologies at the 13th CIPPE Exhibition
Cat 3516C (HD) to Be Launched at the 2013 CIPPE Show
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