After giving a congratulatory acknowledgement to the Oakdale High School Mustang varsity football team on their days-earlier State Championship, the Oakdale City Council on Monday, Dec. 18 got busy approving end of year capital improvement purchases totaling over $450,000.
“The total sum at the end is a significant amount,” said City Manager Bryan Whitemyer at the beginning of the various staff reports, “but I want to make sure you, the public, and the citizens at home know that these are expenditures we’ve been preparing for, setting funds aside for, and preparing the budget for.”
Whitemyer added that the items had all been budgeted and sufficient funds were available in the various city budgets.
The first request was for $8,620 to replace nine Modesto Ash trees in Wood Park, seven of which border the street curb line on Yosemite Avenue and pose a threat to the public.
According to Interim Public Services Director Jeff Gravel, the trees are diseased and infested with mistletoe. The mistletoe is a parasite and lives off the vascular system of the host plant or tree.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Supervisor Cody Bridgewater made a request for $6,270.17 for the purchase of a metal lathe to replace one that is no longer operational and parts are unavailable due to its age.
Bridgewater said plant employees use the lathe to manufacture key operational parts for the wastewater treatment plant. The process of fabricating the parts, such as rollers, bushings, fittings, and other simple parts is much more cost effective than the city outright buying those parts.
Bridgewater also made a request for a $14,577 storage building for storage and stocking equipment.
The plant has been using its “blower building” as the place to store parts and files but the building is not designed for storage. That building is designed for mechanical equipment and needs to allow for proper movement of air for ventilation of heat that is created by the electrical equipment and blowers.
Bridgewater said the location of the shelving they are using for parts storage and records archives are in locations obstructing blowers or are in locations designated for future additional blowers.
The biggest purchase approval for the evening, $229,120.22 was to replace Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) equipment for the fire department.
Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Chief Matt Daly said the ones currently in use are rapidly approaching their useful service life of 15 years and becoming out of compliance with State and Federal Standards.
Daly said the equipment is critical to its members while performing during emergency operations.
A joint purchase was made with Oakdale Rural and Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District for the equipment so that there would be a major cost savings for the city.
In three separate public works items, the council also approved amounts of $104,747; $$28,780; and $67,590 for storm drain and storm pump related projects.
When the purchase approvals wrapped up, Councilman Tom Dunlop complimented city managers for having the foresight to set aside funds to keep equipment updated and maintained so the city could function, especially in emergency and disaster situations.