Silver Creek DPW rolls on with new equipment
SILVER CREEK — Through hard work and dedication, the Silver Creek Department of Public Works finally has new and improved vehicles to work with.
Since 2019, the Silver Creek Village Board worked with the DPW to replace vehicles and equipment that needed to be upgraded. Between natural disasters, brutal winters and normal wear and tear, four vehicles needed to be replaced.
The DPW was spending more on maintenance for the old vehicles and equipment than it was to buy all new or used. There is no mechanic employed by the village, so a lot of times there were repairs that workers couldn’t do, so they would have to send it to a mechanic, which would cost even more money.
A flood in 2009 caused the wheel loader to have sticky joints and need more repairs on it than it was worth in the end.
“The loader that we had got put through its paces because of the flood,” Public Works Superintendent Robert Bankoski said. “The whole undercarriage and the joints really worn out from the acidic mud. The clam on the bucket was all bent up and would hardly work anymore.”
The new vehicles and equipment include a refurbished street sweeper, a new plow and dump truck, a newer wheel loader, and a pickup truck to plow smaller municipal lots. It is about $400,000 worth of new or refurbished vehicles and equipment, with some spent locally, as the pickup truck was purchased in Basil.
“We got them all under state contract, so the vehicles were a lot cheaper,” Bankoski said. “With Marv’s permission, we did a municipal auction for all the used and worn out equipment we had and pretty much made enough money to buy the pickup truck outright.”
“In the long run, this is a huge savings for taxpayers,” Bankoski said. “The amount of repairs and maintenance we were doing on all the vehicles was almost more than they were worth.”
According to Bankoski, the bottom line is to get equipment that village staff can use safely and effectively.
“Each municipality has its own little quirks — you have to be able to get the right equipment to do a good job with it,” Bankoski said. “Like in our village, we have a lot of hills, so we need to have power in the plow truck to be able to make it up those hills with full loads in them.”
Marv Cummings, board member and liaison for the DPW, assisted a lot in the obtaining of this much needed equipment. “He’s our liaison so we have constant conversations about what’s going on, what we’re doing, and what we need,” Bankoski said. “He’s our voice at the meetings; he can explain everything to the board. … He’s just been awesome.”
“It’s the whole board who helps with this, not just me, I’m just the liaison,” Cummings said. “The DPW needs the right equipment to do their jobs effectively. The board appreciates what they do and was very supportive of all the new equipment.”