Yorkton Council approved $50,000 in new money to cover heated storage for heavy equipment in 2014, the first year of a two-year contract which will cost the city near $120,000 over the term.
Trent Mandzuk, manager of Public Works with the City told Council Monday there was a need for additional heated storage.
“Storing heavy equipment in a heated environment is important for many reasons,” he said.
A report circulated to the regular meeting of Council went into detail regarding issues associated with cold weather storage of heavy equipment.
“Upon initial start up, starter motors have a difficult time cranking engines making batteries work harder and longer. Thus, it shortens the life of the battery and starter motors. Cold temperatures thicken radiator fluids, engine oils, transmission oils and hydraulic fluids. Thick engine and transmission oils make it very difficult for mechanical parts to operate. The thicker oils may not reach all the parts that require lubrication. In this case, irreversible engine damage and other mechanical failures can occur. Hydraulic line failure is prevalent in cold operating temperatures and keeping equipment indoors helps reduce associated down time.”
Currently, the Public Works Department is experiencing a major lack of heated storage for our existing equipment, said Mandzuk.
The heated storage available at Public Works consists of 11 bays and 8,800 square feet of area.
Mandzuk said existing
storage is simply not sufficient, adding a needs assessment conducted by Integrated Engineering indicated that present day heated storage requirements exceed the space available at the facility. That study estimates a need for 13,000-plus square feet.
Mandzuk said further in-house work have the number nearer 20,000 square feet for the existing fleet of heavy equipment used regularly in the city.
Mandzuk said a building has come available which would help address the shortfall. Yorkton Plumbing and Heating Ltd. now owns a steel building located at 164 Ball Road. 5,400 ft2 of heated space is available for rent, along with a large fenced compound offering additional outdoor storage, he said.
The cost to rent the building from Yorkton Plumbing and Heating would be $10/ft2/yr and natural gas usage. For estimation purposes, $1/ft2/year was used to calculate heating costs.
The department wishes to enter a 2-year lease agreement with Yorkton Plumbing and Heating to rent the 5,400 ft2. To do so would require an additional $50,000 be designated to the 2014 operational budget, said Mandzuk.
The $50,000 would be an addition to money already in place.
The department did have $10,000 allocated in the 2014 operational budget for rent of 1,000 square feet of heated storage from Sask Abilities.
Under the proposal made to Council that space would no longer be rented, with the money allocated to the new storage area, which with heating will cost the City near $60,000 annually.
Councillor Les Arnelien questioned why the need for heated shop space was not tendered?
Mandzuk said there was simply no other option.
“To my knowledge there’s no other facility in town that suits our needs,” he said.
Arnelien then questioned why the funding would not have been brought forward in upcoming 2014 budget deliberations, adding as a result “I’m really not in favour of this project.”
In the end Arnelien would be the lone vote against proceeding with funding for 2014.
Before passing the request for funding Coun. James Wilson wanted to know if a heated facility would mean “actual dollar savings in the budget?”
Mandzuk said such things were “hard to quantify,” adding “snow removal in itself is so unpredictable”
But, that said Mandzuk added “every 10 pieces of equipment sitting around idling (to warm up), 10 employees are sitting around doing nothing.”