Clearfield Municipal Authority Hears About Cost Savings by Purchasing Backhoe

CLEARFIELD – Board members heard an update on cost savings between subcontracting and purchasing a backhoe for excavation during yesterday’s Clearfield Municipal Authority meeting. 

Last month, the board asked Manager John Williams to research how much it costs to subcontract an excavator every year versus the cost of purchasing one and what the savings would be. 

Yesterday, Williams reported they would save about $5,000 per year for five years, and then $26,000 per year after that.  Payments on the backhoe would be for five years and the machine would be purchased through COSTARS.

The board then agreed to continue with the stipulation of last month’s motion. It was that if the numbers showed significant savings, the authority would rent the kind of backhoe they’re considering purchasing for one month this summer and ensure that is what they want and then make a final decision.

During the engineer’s report, Engineer Jim Balliet of Gwin, Dobson and Foreman Inc. of Altoona reported the Mount Joy pumping station project was not accepted by the Department for Community and Economic Development funding under the Small Water and Sewer grant program. 

CMA will apply again for the fall round, but in the meantime, Balliet suggested contacting local state representatives on the matter.  He said almost all of the grant funding went to big city projects and north central, rural Pennsylvania was left out entirely.

Balliet also reported that the Glen Richey/Clover Hill waterline extension planning is moving along, and they will be doing some historic resources and geotechnical boring investigations as well as a progression meeting with the state Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Acid Mine Reclamation.

In regards to the wastewater treatment facility upgrades, Balliet said contractor Church and Murdock is requesting a reduction of the amount of funding the authority is holding back until completion of the project. 

Normally 10 percent is held until the project is complete, and at the contractor’s request, CMA recently reduced the amount being held to 5 percent.  Church and Murdock requested reducing the amount to 1 percent, but Balliet suggested 1.5 percent, or about $80,000, which the board approved.

CMA also received a letter from the DEP regarding the annual inspection report of the Moose Creek Dam.  DEP wants the 16- and 24-inch conduits through the dam inspected this year and Balliet said he would look into the cost and report back to the board.

Finally, the board received one bid for gasoline and diesel from JJ Powell and accepted the variable rate again this year.

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