Oneida County Highway Commissioner Freeman Bennett met with the Public Works Committee last week to outline his department's goals for 2013.
"I sat down with the committee and put forth what I would like to see us do in the future as far as upgrades to certain equipment, what my plans are as far as trying to find ways to save money, things like that," Bennett said.
Bennett's goals were multi-faceted, ranging from investigating new technological upgrades to keeping up with road maintenance, to looking at different ways to repair the culverts in the county.
First on his list is to continue looking into new technology that may help the department in the winter.
"One of them is to continue to use new technology for ice and snow removal," Bennett said. "If we can find something that works on the roads faster and is less corrosive, that's something I want to check into."
He also wants to look into changes and upgrades to the department's trucks.
"I want to look into maybe getting larger trucks - cut back on the smaller trucks and go with larger trucks that can haul more material," Bennett said. "And we need to keep converting from regular steel to stainless steel for the longevity of these trucks. We may pay a few dollars more but they're going to last longer."
As far as the summer season is concerned, Bennett has plans for that as well.
"In the summer, I want to continue to keep doing large amounts of crack-sealing to preserve our roads as long as we possibly can," Bennett said.
And it's not just crack-sealing that Bennett is thinking about concerning roads.
"We need to keep up with our road-striping. Last year, we did 49 miles of road and I'd like to stay in that 45 to 50 mile range," Bennett said.
Finally, there's culverts.
"With culverts, we're going more to plastics because they carry a 99-year warranty on them," Bennett said. "I've been here 24 years and I know some of these culverts I've replaced myself three times."
The committee approved Bennett's goals and they will now be forwarded on to the county's Labor Relations/Employee Services Committee for further discussion.
Marcus Nesemann may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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