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Text of Document: City of Fairview
Street Department Review Introduction
By Ron Darden, Municipal Management Consultant
The University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service, Institute for Public Service
The City of Fairview has a population of approximately 7,014 and is located in Williamson County 22.1 miles from the City of Nashville. It is made up of 20 square miles and has 66 miles of streets to maintain.
Street Department Services Provided
The street department provides:
· Leaf pick up and disposal
· Brush pick up and disposal
· Right-of-way mowing
· Litter control
· Stormwater maintenance
· Vehicle and equipment maintenance
· Sign maintenance
· Signalization maintenance
· Maintenance of public buildings
· The city contracts for paving
The city staff currently consists of 4 full-time employees and 3 part-time employees, which includes vehicle and equipment service. During some periods of the year street department and park department employees assist with park maintenance and street maintenance. A work order system is not currently used.
The Street Department equipment includes:
· 1-Bandit chipper
· 1-New Holland tractor
· 1-Alamo 17 ft. A-boom truck
· 1-John Deer backhoe
· 1-Robota chipper
· 1-Chevrolet pickup (2,000)
· 1-Chevrolet 4x4 (2,003)
· 1-Chevrolet 4x4 (2006)
· 1-Chevrolet bucket truck (2008)
· 1-Chevrolet chipper truck (2006)
· 1-Ford F 650 dump truck (2010)
· 1-Ford tractor
· 1-Rex roller
Recommendation-The city should evaluate the need for automated leaf collection equipment for the future. Except for the need for additional leaf collection equipment, staff indicated that the present equipment level is satisfactory.
The street department presently reports to the community services director. The parks department reports to the city manager. The vehicle equipment/auto mechanic is included in the street department.
1. Place the parks department under the community services director as a division of community services.
2. Create a separate vehicle equipment/auto service division under the director of community services with a separate budget cost center. Operate the vehicle maintenance division as an enterprise fund charging all using departments for parts and labor.
3. Provide street maintenance services via a street division of the community services department.
Staffing Levels Surveys
MTAS conducted two surveys of similar sized cities in an effort to compare staffing levels for the street department. The first survey was inconclusive because some cities include sanitation services in the street department and some include contract paving. Some cities include vehicle maintenance in the street budget and some do not and there were other variations within the budgets.
The second survey indicated:
· Fairview-66 miles of streets
· Athens-126 miles of streets
State Street Aid-$190,361
Street maintenance cost per mile of streets-$5,383
· Winchester-75 miles of streets
State Street Aid-$353,878
Street maintenance cost per mile of streets-$14,757
· Manchester-107.7 miles of streets
State Street Aid-$368,000
Street maintenance cost per mile of streets-$20,563
· Soddy-Daisy-110 miles of streets
State Street Aid-included above
Street maintenance cost per mile of streets-$14,438
State Street Aid-$305,000
Street maintenance cost per mile of streets-$12,772
While the survey indicates that the City of Fairview spends considerably less per mile of streets maintained, MTAS cannot assure the city that street department budgets of other cities are exactly comparable; however, even with some variations within the budgets, the cost difference for the city of Fairview is considerably less than for other similar sized cities. It appears that the average cost per mile of streets, excluding the highest and the lowest budgets, was approximately $13,000-$14,500 per mile of streets maintained. This is almost 3 times the cost for the City of Fairview.
In an effort to better determine staffing needs, the city should use a work order system for all services. Based on the number of service requests and number of outstanding service orders, a better determination of staffing needs could be determined.
As the city grows there will be a need to respond to the increasing need for street services with additional staff and equipment. Currently the city is providing a reasonable level of service with minimum staff.