By Mike Kruzman /

Brighton City Council has approved a purchase for new equipment that helps to keep the streets clean and free of debris.

DPS Director Marcel Goch made the request for a new combination vacuum street sweeper during City Council’s last meeting. The Public Works Division traditionally uses the existing vehicle a minimum of 2 times each week, removing more than 400 yards of debris from the storm sewer collection system annually with it.

Goch said it’s getting long in its life expectancy and is becoming cost-prohibitive to maintain. Typically, maintenance issues on these machines grow after 10 to 12 years, and Brighton is using a model from 2007. Goch said that in the past 2 to 3 years, they have spent $25,000 on it.

A memo to City Council from City Manager Nate Geinzer shares that before the purchase of a new street sweeper was considered, staff considered having the work performed by a contractor. There was hope that eliminating that piece of equipment and the labor hours to run it would provide savings and free up staff for other projects. However, staff found that contractor costs were drastically higher than doing the job in-house.

The City received three bids and chose an Elgin model from Bell Equipment Company. It was chosen partially because it uses a newer innovation and will save time and money on maintenance because it operates fully on one engine when most have separate motors for the vehicle and its attachments. Staff also felt it performed better than the Southeastern Equipment Company’s model, which was $13,000 less expensive, but during tests could not clean problem areas like Grand River and Main Street.

City Council approved the request for the Elgin model at $286,235. This purchase is below the budgeted $300,000 in the 2021/2022 CIP budget for it. Goch anticipates delivery of the unit by spring.