The Premier Magazine For America’s Municipalities
Fleet Service & Management
INSIDE: Forsyth County Slashes Costs With Vehicle Sharing Carmel trials HydrogenOn-Tap technology Bolingbrook, IL Permit No. 1939
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Fleets turn to refurbishments
Cost Efficiency and Your
Salt Storage Operation Top three factors impacting the cost of your salt storage building Truck lane window for zero contact
#1 Total Upfront Project Costs Traditionally, salt storage building foundations support the structure and the building salt loads using poured concrete walls. This requires additional engineering and materials to support both loads, increasing foundation costs. Britespan uses proprietary engineering and independent piers to support the structure, while the retainer wall on the inside of the building contains the salt, decreasing foundation costs.
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With damage from impacts of delivery trucks and loader operators, maintenance and repair costs can certainly add up over the lifetime of your structure. To reduce this damage, Britespan factors in a truck lane “window” into the building’s engineering where dump boxes do not come in contact with the building trusses.
#3 Storage Capacity vs. Project Cost Now that the retainer wall engineering is not limited to the foundation height, the retainer wall can be as tall as required to meet your storage requirements. The higher the retainer walls, the more salt storage capacity in the same building footprint. The overall building and foundation costs do not change, but your storage capacity increases significantly. This combination reduces salt storage costs by dollars per ton, each year, for the lifespan of your building.
britespanbuildings.com The Municipal_2021February1.indd 1
2021-01-26 9:25:58 AM
March 2021 | VOL. 11 No. 12 | www.themunicipal.com
19 Fleet Service & Management Shutterstock photo
Focus on Fleet Service 28 20 & Management: Fueled for success: Carmel, Ind., fleet embraces H.O.T. technology
24 Focus on Fleet Service
& Management: Keeping your fleet safe during COVID-19
28 Focus on Fleet Service
& Management: Fleet cards simplify operations
32 Focus on Fleet Service & Management: Ames, Iowa, makes green fleet moves
36 Focus on Fleet Service & Management: Refurbishments add new life to vehicles, ease municipal budgets
44 Public Safety: Cops Care connects Union City police and community
46 Municipal Management: All-America Cities summarize their successes
50 Building & Construction: Salisbury captures civic pride with ambitious revitalization project
52 Parks & Environmental Services: Winter Park Urban Forestry Division addresses aging tree canopy
ON THE COVER Forsyth County, N.C., has implemented automated vehicle sharing technology and, through its use, has been able to dramatically reduce its fleet size and the number of personal mileage reimbursements it was cutting. The technology has also allowed the county to meet all of its employees’ needs for safe, reliable vehicles. Learn more on page 10.
The Premier Magazine For America’s Municipalities
Fleet Service & Management
INSIDE: Forsyth County Slashes Costs With Vehicle Sharing Carmel trials HydrogenOn-Tap technology
4 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
Fleets turn to refurbishments
Meet our Staff publisher RON BAUMGARTNER firstname.lastname@example.org
8 Editor’s Note: Fleets look to stretch budgets
editor-in-chief DEB PATTERSON email@example.com
editor SARAH WRIGHT firstname.lastname@example.org
publication manager CHRIS SMITH email@example.com
senior account executive REES WOODCOCK firstname.lastname@example.org
graphic designer MARY LESTER email@example.com
business manager CARRIE GORALCZYK firstname.lastname@example.org
10 From the Cover: Vehicle sharing initiative produces savings for Forsyth County
12 Unique Claims to Fame: Cumbres &
Toltec Scenic Railroad, Chama, N.M.
16 City Seals: West Milford, N.J. 40 City Profile: A small town with a strong beautification program: Fairhope, Ala.
56 Conference Calendar 57 Product Spotlights 60 News & Notes 66 Guest Column: Clean cities can
help municipal leaders reach fleet sustainability goals
director of marketing STEVE MEADOWS email@example.com
70 Top 10: 2021’s Best State to Retire 73 Advertiser Index
mail manager KHOEUN KHOEUTH firstname.lastname@example.org
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6 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
The Municipal does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does The Municipal or its staff assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial content appear in any publication. The Municipal reserves the right to determine the suitability of all materials submitted for publication and to edit all submitted materials for clarity and space. The Municipal has not independently tested any services or products advertised herein and has verified no claims made by its advertisers regarding those services or products. The Municipal makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability for any claims regarding those services or products or claims made by advertisers regarding such products or services. Readers are advised to consult with the advertiser regarding any such claims and regarding the suitability of an advertiser’s products. No reproduction of The Municipal is allowed without express written permission. Copyright © 2021.
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Fleets look to stretch budgets Sarah Wright | Editor
leet rotations may be stretched a bit longer following COVID-19’s impact on budgets, a repeat pattern to what many fleets had to do during the Great Recession. Fleet professionals have become adept at making do with less with a little creativity and out-of-the-box problem-solving — whether mechanical or financial. For some municipal fleets, leasing is being tested as a means to replace vehicles and equipment past their life cycles. At the beginning of 2021, Platteville, Wis., entered into a lease and maintenance agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management to aid in the replacement of its fleet of light vehicles, where more than half the vehicles are older than 10 years old. The Telegraph Herald reported in a Jan. 14, 2021, article at the city’s current pace of vehicle acquisition, it
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would take 23 years to replace its fleet, but Enterprise believes it could do so within three years. Howard Crofoot, public works director, told the Telegraph Herald, “It’s a good deal all the way around. Instead of having vehicles 10 (or) 12 years old, we now have vehicles that are two years old for the same amount of money.” Leasing is not the only avenue being explored, as writer Janet Patterson shares in her article this month, “Refurbishments add new life to vehicles, ease municipal budgets.” Refurbishment can be an excellent path for cities experiencing an increase in repair bills for a fraction of the price when compared to buying a new vehicle. Patterson shares the California City Police Department’s experience, which opted to refurbish some of its Crown Victorias after its orders for two new SUVs carried over into 2021. Fleet superintendents are also continuing to prioritize meeting climate goals, which, while more costly upfront, often offer more significant cost savings over the long term. Carmel, Ind., is testing out an innovative
technology called Hydrogen-On-Tap. Writer Julie Young shares Carmel’s experience retrofitting one of its pickup trucks to include H.O.T. technology and how the city hopes to expand its test pilot once COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted. To the west, Ames, Iowa, has been exploring alternative fuels, including 100% biodiesel, hybrids and electric vehicles. Writer Andrew Mentock relays Ames’ results, including the benefits seen since switching to different fuel types. Our other fleet-themed articles this month include the building blocks to a good fleet fuel card program, with writer Amanda Demster sharing tips from Wayne Parker, Gaffney, S.C.’s, fleet manager and president of the Southeast Governmental Fleet Management Association. Writer Denise Fedorow has also spoken with different fleets about how COVID has shaped their operations and what equipment has helped them better face the pandemic. As always, stay well, and may your March Madness brackets hold true!
MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 9
From The Cover
Kevin Rogers, Forsyth County Fleet Manager
Vehicle sharing initiative produces savings for Forsyth County By ED SMITH | President Agile Fleet
esperate times call for desperate measures in municipal government settings. This was true during the financial crisis of 2008, and it is true as we face unprecedented challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Forsyth County, N.C., is a shining example of an agency that made tough decisions during the troubled times in 2009 and turned a negative into a positive. And, the beauty of it is that the savings from changes made more than 10 years ago continue to accumulate to this day. Forsyth County implemented automated vehicle sharing technology that facilitated a dramatic reduction in its fleet size and a massive cut to personal mileage reimbursements while still meeting all of its needs for safe, reliable vehicles. To date, the relatively simple change in business practices has saved the taxpayers of the county money while delivering other big benefits to county employees. The changes have helped introduce safer, greener vehicles to the fleet, which created great reductions in the county’s carbon footprint. Drivers now have access to newer vehicles and more types of vehicles in the shared motor pools. According to Ed Smith, president of Agile Fleet, “The same approach that Forsyth County took many years ago is now helping organizations of all sizes cut costs in these pandemic times. The benefits to the county and its taxpayers are indisputable, and that same model is
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being used in federal, state and local governments as well as colleges and universities.” Kevin Rogers, the county’s fleet manager, said, “In 2008, every county organization was being asked to cut costs. When the fleet was analyzed, the first thing that struck us was that we had very limited data to measure fleet utilization. When we’d look in the parking lot, we thought we had a utilization problem, but we lacked the metrics to prove it. We knew that if we could clearly understand our fleet utilization situation and we could efficiently share vehicles, we could eliminate underused vehicles. The key was to have vehicles available when we removed an assigned or otherwise underused vehicle.” By increasing utilization through vehicle sharing, underutilized vehicles could be eliminated. So, that’s exactly what Forsyth County did. The technology was easy to implement. In only 100 days, Forsyth County implemented an automated vehicle sharing initiative to help right-size its fleet. The new technology, which consisted of an online vehicle reservation system and self-service vehicle kiosks for picking up and returning vehicles 24/7, was an instant success. The system enabled the county to immediately eliminate 30 vehicles. From those initial cuts alone, the county has realized a substantial savings annually due to the elimination of depreciation, maintenance, administrative and other costs associated with those vehicles.
A Forsyth County employee uses a self-service vehicle kiosk to pick up keys. The kiosk is available 24/7 for picking up and returning vehicles. (Photo provided)
Rogers said working with the budget office making a business case for spending money on vehicle sharing technology was one of the easier cases to make. “It’s one of those rare cash-positive projects. When we began the process, we estimated we could eliminate at least 30 vehicles in the first year if we had an efficient way for county employees to share rather than having vehicles assigned to individuals or departments. We achieved that goal. Additionally, we would generate revenue by selling unused vehicles,” said Rogers, adding in less than one year, all expectations were exceeded relative to cost savings. Some other benefits of vehicle sharing technology were actually a surprise. The county soon realized the vehicle sharing technology gave easy access to vehicles for county employees, who previously had to use personal vehicles to perform their jobs. County policy was implemented that required employees to use shared, pooled vehicles instead of their personal vehicles for official business as much as possible. This helped the county to reduce reimbursements to employees who used personally owned vehicles, or POVs, for county business by more than 50%, saving another $60,000-plus per year. Using a county vehicle is roughly 35% cheaper than reimbursing an employee for using their vehicle. Rogers said, “Before our motor pool implementation, our yearly expenditure for POV was approximately $125,000. We cut it to approximately $57,000. I hadn’t anticipated that.” In 2018, Rogers was named Professional Manager of the Year for a public fleet by the American Public Works Association, which recognized him for his outstanding performance managing the county’s maintenance operations, monitoring fleet maintenance costs, purchasing vehicles and equipment, advising other departments of potential replacements, all while maintaining best practices in the areas of right-sizing and efficiency. APWA also recognized Rogers’ efforts researching new technologies and serving on committees in the county to further improve the efficiencies and safety of the employees.
Forsyth County runs three motor pools with 24/7 self-service dispatching, and one with a staffed dispatching process. Thanks to the Agile Fleet fleet management information system, the county has cut 30 vehicles from its fleet. (Photo provided)
Forsyth County Fleet Quick Facts • 620 vehicles. • Serves 2,000 employees. uns three motor pools with 24/7 self-service dispatch•R ing, and one with a staffed dispatching process. • I mmediately cut 30 vehicles from its fleet while meeting the needs of its fleet users, enabling the county to decrease budget by $300,000 for nonemergency vehicles in the following budget year. ut personal mileage reimbursement by more than •C 50% annually. •R educed vehicle administrative costs for departments and standardize cleaning, maintenance and other processes by transitioning vehicles from departments to centralized motor pools.
Forsyth County expanded the use of motor pools and automated the entire vehicle sharing process using the Agile Fleet fleet management information system, or FMIS. “When we first started to try to share vehicles without modern technology, we shared 25 vehicles. It took two people to manage the process because everything was all manual — reservations were handwritten on spreadsheets,” Rogers said. “We handed out and collected keys manually. Drivers had to come to our facility during business hours to get keys and we had a staff member dedicated to handling it.” Now it is all automated, and vehicles are available 24/7. For more information, visit www.agilefleet.com. MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 11
Unique Claims To Fame
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Chama, N.M.
By RAY BALOGH | The Municipal
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay once wrote, “There isn’t a train I wouldn’t take, no matter where it’s going.”
Fall is the most popular time of the year for passengers booking a trip on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Scheduled trips often sell out months in advance. (Gestalt Imagery/Shutterstock.com) ABOVE TOP: The engine is powered by steam heated by coal. Some reviewers who have taken the ride caution that coal ash in hair and clothing is an inevitable takeaway. (B. Norris/Shutterstock.com)
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The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, a mobile National Historic Landmark, would be a good place to start. The coal-fired steam-powered locomotive chugs its passengers at a top speed of 12 mph along a sinuous 64-mile route that crisscrosses the New Mexico-Colorado border 11 times. Riders embark and debark for the 6 1/2-hour day trip at the quaint depots serving the termini in Chama, N.M., and Antonito, Colo. A made-from-scratch lunch during a one-hour stop at the midpoint in Osier, Colo., is included in the ticket price. The railway was built through the Rocky Mountains in 1880 and has been co-owned by New Mexico and Colorado since 1970. Voted repeatedly by the readers of USA Today as the nation’s “most scenic train,” the railway offers an unrivaled panoply of tree-covered mountains, lush valleys, a high desert, rolling meadows, fields of wildflowers and breath-catchingly high trellises and rocky gorges. Another draw, equal to and fed by the scenery, is the promised relaxed euphoria one experiences when taking the off-ramp from the human rat race and cruising to some sanctuary of halcyon tranquility.
The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad passes through Chama, N.M., and turned the village into a boomtown virtually overnight. Once an agricultural community, the town’s economy is presently fueled by tourism. (James Mattil/Shutterstock.com)
And perhaps there is no better conveyance than, as Arlo Guthrie sang, a “magic carpet made of steel.” The railroad’s website, www.cumbrestoltec.com, invites, “This is your chance to make history with us. To experience going back in time and off of the grid. To experience the sounds, steam and steel, and the grit that made this country great. Your daily grind can’t follow you into the great, unspoiled West.” The day trip is described in the digital travelogue on the railroad’s website: “The scenic journey unfolds as soon as the train, pulled by its powerful locomotive, leaves the Chama station. In just moments the steep 4% climb into the mountains begins. First is a remnant of the historic Lobato sheep ranch, an area of rolling meadows with a high trestle that spans the rushing Wolf Creek below. Thin white aspen trees with shimmering leaves line the grassy hills and deer, elk and bears are plentiful. “As the train climbs ever higher, the view backward reveals the entire Chama Valley. Soon, the climb gets steeper and the locomotive is working its hardest to pull the train to Cumbres Pass — at 10,015 feet, the highest mountain pass reached by rail in the United States. The train hugs a sheer rock face as it reaches the summit, where there are alpine meadows sprinkled with wildflowers. The aspens have given way to tall, dark green conifers that frame the spectacular vistas. Here it is noticeably cooler and there can be snow flurries even in summer. “Soon after Cumbres comes Tanglefoot Curve, a loop so tight it almost seems the locomotive will meet the caboose. Trees are sparse and there are vast mountain views crisscrossed by streams teeming with fish. After crossing Cascade Creek Trestle, the highest on the line, the train pulls into the rustic townsite of Osier for a lunch stop. “Leaving Osier, the train approaches Toltec Gorge. At times rock walls seem almost to squeeze in from both sides. There are two long tunnels — Mud Tunnel, supported by wood beams, and Rock Tunnel — and Phantom Curve, named for a rock spire that casts a ghostly shadow. The rocky gorge plunges 800 feet and the train snakes carefully along a narrow ledge where the view is straight down.
The train rises and descends several thousand feet in elevation during its day trip, granting unique breathtaking views of mountains and valleys. (ArtBitz/Shutterstock.com)
“From here, the terrain softens into hills as the train descends through the aspen trees. Ahead lies the majestic beauty of Colorado. Soon the hills flatten into a broad plain punctuated by distant high peaks and the train rolls into its terminus at Antonito.” Riders may board the train at either station and return by a onehour bus trip. Several levels of accommodations are available for riders. • The Parlor Car, the most exclusive accommodation for passengers 16 and older, is a Victorian style era car with mahogany panels, oversized windows and comfortable seating. The fare includes a continental breakfast, nonalcoholic beverages and souvenir gifts, and guests are served by a personal attendant. • The Deluxe Car, a family-friendly first-class car, has cafe style seating with tables for two or four guests. The fare includes snacks, nonalcoholic beverages and a gift. The car also includes a personal attendant on board. • Coach cars offer comfortable padded bench seating. Snacks, film, gifts and souvenirs are available in the concessions car. Passengers who prefer an outdoor ride can avail themselves of the open-air gondola car, or hang onto the railing between cars and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the passing scenery. Fall is the most popular season for train passengers, when the aspens change color and dot the mountains like droplets of “gold in them thar hills.” Cumbres & Toltec also features special train trips during its season, which runs from June 5 through Oct. 24 this year. The rides are extremely popular. In fact, all nine scheduled four-day Engineer & Fireman Schools, hands-on rides where participants learn to shovel coal, operate the train’s throttle and learn about daily service and maintenance chores, are already sold out. The railway’s website will announce 2021 rides, such as sunset trips featuring prime rib for dinner, as they are scheduled. For more information, visit www.cumbrestoltec.com or call (888) 286-2737.
MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 13
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MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 15
West Milford, N.J. The official seal for the township of West Milford, N.J., is carved as a beckoning into a “second promised land.” Bookending the foreground of the seal are a Native American and white settler conversing in a position of restful repose, their instruments of war and labor propped benignly on the ground beside them. Directly behind them and under an arch announcing “Township of West Milford” are an evergreen tree and stone wall, reminiscent of curtains drawn back to herald the opening of a theatrical performance. Behind those “curtains” lies a scene of idyll, with a sailboat wafting on a quiet boundless river and bright sunrays emanating from the distant horizon and piercing billowy clouds. Two buildings in the background represent the municipality’s industry and culture. Dr. William H. Rauchfuss in 1934 eloquently feted West Milford’s winsomeness in his centennial encomium to the township. “Somehow we all come back to our section so dear to us. Not the least of these ‘dearest spots on earth to me’ is that of West Milford Township, situated in northern New Jersey; and its surroundings the poet and painter would vie with each other to reproduce on canvass or by pen, the beauties and charms hereabouts. “The beauteous ‘hills in glory stand’; the verdant valleys are productive of luscious fruits and vegetables, a gift from God in His kind providence; the virgin soil stimulates the growth of all these, as well as the glorious trees that grow to a great height. “Our early fathers saw the beauties here and that is why they settled so long ago. The beauty of landscape, the brooks and ponds; available requisites of life here in abundance; game, fishing; dear old country roads, which the aesthetic and idealist rave about; all such made for the acceptation of this beauteous land for a dwelling place of our early sires and verily it must have seemed like a second promised land.” The township was established in January 1834, three years before its surrounding county of Passaic was formed. West Milford was settled by Germans and other Europeans who were attracted by the area’s iron mining. The municipality boasted a population of about 2,500 throughout the 19th century, experienced a dip during the Great Depression and rebounded with a flourish in the following decades, growing tenfold by 1980. The population has hovered around 26,000 since. Notable denizens of West Milford include baseball star Derek Jeter; Carol-Lynn Parente, Emmy Award-winning producer of “Sesame Street”; and Tom Wopat of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” For more information, visit www.westmilford.org. 16 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
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Focus on: Fleet Service & Management
15% Hydrogen-On-Tap technology can increase a fleet’s gas mileage by 15% while reducing harmful emissions by about 20%. Carmel, Ind., is the first in the nation to retrofit a vehicle to H.O.T. technology. Read about Carmel’s experiences with H.O.T. technology on page 20.
10,000 gallons Ames, Iowa, used this many gallons of B100 last year. The city has seven all-purpose dump trucks that utilize the Optimus Technologies advanced fuel system to run on B100.
Read about Ames’ other green fleet initiatives on page 32.
In 2020, the California City, Calif., Police Department was plagued with vehicle breakdowns in its aging fleet, resulting in repairs and towing bills in this amount. The department turned to refurbishment for a fraction of the cost of a new vehicle.
99.9% The Purus system, a true dry fog system, has a 99.9% COVID-19 kill rate, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It has also sped up Twin City Ambulance’s deep cleaning after COVID calls from an hour to 20 minutes.
Learn how fleet are ensuring safety in a post-COVID world on page 24.
Discover if refurbishment is a good fit for your fleet on page 36.
$77,000 Platteville, Wis., examined a proposed allocation of about $77,000 to lease 13 to 15 vehicles in 2021. In future years, the allocation would go down to about $60,000, cycling through vehicles every three years, using equity from resales to pay down lease costs. Source: https://www.telegraphherald.com/news/tri-state/article_2d58651c-bd7b-51559a62-e1741f9616fb.html
60 The total number of charging stations in the city of Schenectady, N.Y. Of that figure, 28 are now available to the public.
Source: https://dailygazette. com/2021/01/25/electric-vehicle-chargers-unveiled-on-liberty-street/
MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 19
M Focus on: Fleet Service & Management The city of Carmel, Ind., added new Hydrogen-On-Tap technology to one of its Ford F-250 trucks. The system has a low profile in the truck’s bed and could increase its fleet’s gas mileage by 15% while reducing harmful carbon emissions. (Photos provided by the city of Carmel)
Fueled for success: Carmel, Ind., fleet embraces H.O.T. technology By JULIE YOUNG | The Municipal
Carmel, Ind., is a city of 92,000 that has been committed to environmental sustainability and encourages ecological responsibility throughout its community and across all of its municipal departments. In the past few years, Carmel has become the first in the nation to retrofit a vehicle in its fleet with a relatively new HydrogenOn-Tap — or H.O.T. — technology that can increase a fleet’s gas mileage by 15% while reducing harmful carbon emissions. “One thing every city department can do is working to reduce the amount of fossil fuels they burn in their vehicles,” said Carmel Mayor James Brainard. “We’ve decided to work smarter not harder in order to do our part.” The initial concept for the H.O.T. technology was developed in 1968 by Jerry Woodall, 20 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, who is now retired. He eventually filed for a patent, and in 2007, he licensed the process to Kurt Koehler, the president and founder of the Indianapolis-based Aluminum Gallium Co., also known as AlGalCo. “Kurt spent several years refining the hydrogen-on-demand process, and in 2013, we began working with him to retrofit some of our pickup trucks,” Brainard said. “Not only does the hydrogen technology allow us to respond to the climate challenge, but it also enabled us to work with a local
company that was using a process created by a local institution. It was a win-win-win.” Add water and stir As a clean-burning fuel, hydrogen is an ideal way to eliminate greenhouse gases, but the concept has been a tough sell. Not only do cities lack the infrastructure to transport, store and pump the material into vehicles, few drivers are enthusiastic about the prospect of hauling around a tank full of compressed hydrogen — even if it is less explosive than traditional gasoline. Woodall wondered if there was a way to create hydrogen on the spot using an aluminum alloy pod that would release hydrogen when combined with a tank of water, becoming fuel for an engine. Koehler ultimately licensed the technology from Purdue and set up his company in 2007. In 2013, Carmel
Within the 45-kilogram metal box are six stainless steel canisters that contain a 113-gram button of aluminum and gallium alloy. When the engine is started, a small amount of water drips onto the buttons, producing the hydrogen that is then fed into the intake manifold. (Photo provided by the city of Carmel)
agreed to partner with AlGalCo to create a prototype using one of the city’s Ford F-250 trucks in order to measure its potential. The truck was outfitted with a 45-kilogram metal box that sits in its bed and is comprised of six stainless steel canisters that contain a 113-gram button of aluminum and gallium alloy. When the engine is started, a small amount of water drips onto the buttons, producing the hydrogen that is then fed into the intake manifold. After the hydrogen is released, the remaining material turns into aluminum oxide, which can be recycled to create more pellets. The H.O.T. system prevents the vehicle from using traditional fuels until the hydrogen supply is depleted, and once the truck returns to the garage, the driver can replace the used canisters for new ones for their next trip. “Kurt’s technology showed that it not only saves gas mileage, but also cuts emissions by about 20%,” said Terry Killen, operations manager for the city of Carmel. “We don’t have to redesign the motor or store anything and the units are only about $5,000 a piece. A totally hydrogen-powered vehicle would cost a lot to upgrade and
store, but this is a great option, and if the hydrogen runs out, the vehicle can still run on straight gas.” Ready to roll Killen said Carmel’s fleet personnel who have driven the prototype truck say they can’t tell a difference in terms of performance and they are excited to be part of a new and potentially game-changing technology. Once the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are behind them, the city of Carmel will roll out five more trucks that have been outfitted with H.O.T. “The trucks have been ready to go since the summer of 2020, but due to the various restrictions, we have had to limit the number of people who have access to the facility,” Killen said. “Once we get beyond the COVID thing, we’ll be able to get a true picture of what this technology can really save us (in terms of gas mileage and a reduction in carbon emissions).” The H.O.T. technology is just one of the many initiatives Carmel has adopted. In addition to making Carmel a walkable community, reducing the number of cars on the road and installing the MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 21
continued from page 21
Carmel Access Bikeways, also called C.A.B., the city has constructed over 135 roundabouts, which help reduce emissions and save on average 24,000 gallons of gas per year, per roundabout. Additionally, Brainard has signed executive orders that mandated the use of hybrid or flex-fuel city vehicles whenever possible. He created a “no idling” policy for city employees, replaced failing traffic light bulbs with LEDs and converted over 800 streetlights thanks to an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. Brainard said testing the new H.O.T. technology fits in perfectly with all of the things his community is doing to make Carmel a green city. He said the feedback the city has received from the community so far has been positive, and he thinks the public is excited for the larger rollout. “People want to see the government tackling problems and finding solutions, and that’s what we are trying to do with environmental issues,” Brainard said.
Hydrogen is fed into the intake manifold powering the vehicle. If the hydrogen supply runs out, the vehicle switches back to using traditional fuels. (Photo provided by the city of Carmel)
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M Focus on: Fleet Service & Management
Keeping your fleet safe during COVID-19
By DENISE FEDOROW | The Municipal
We’ve been living with COVID-19 for a year now, and it has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives and every municipal operation — including fleets. Some communities had a head start on getting ready while others learned of some holes in their system.
The AeroClave unit is shown decontaminating the Emergency Operations Center at the New Haven, Conn., City Hall. A fine mist can be seen coming from the nozzles on the unit. (Photo provided)
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New Haven, Conn., was one city that had a A local event sponsored by Yale University head start, according to Rick Fontana, direc- gave officials a heads-up. The event was held tor of the office of emergency management Jan. 26, 2020, and it brought students from 30 and homeland security for the city of New different countries — including China, which Haven. already had an outbreak of COVID. “We were likely one of the first in Connecti“We had to quarantine students in busses cut to purchase an AeroClave electrostatic and in hotels until they were tested,” he said. machine for cleaning and binding,” he said. “COVID wasn’t here yet, but with our experiThe city received the machine at the end of ences with pandemics, we knew it was best March. “So we were pretty well on our way of to start preparing.” By the first week of February, city officials making sure our first responders were getting the best cleanliness they could whether it was were “in response mode.” in areas of congregation like the fire station or They started putting together a plan and in fire apparatus or in police cars.” response, ordered equipment, pulled all the The machine uses the highest level of emergency responders and partner agencies hospital grade solution, and the city is using together. “We were the first in the state to have tablea solution called Vital Oxide, which Fontana said is chemically safe and has been a top exercises,” he said. highly successful solution for cleaning and But, Fontana admitted, “We had some decontamination in a hospital setting. He challenges, too — our plan wasn’t perfect.” purchased 100 gallons up front because One of the biggest challenges was not he wanted to make sure the city didn’t get having enough personal protective equipment for everyone in all agencies. The city shorted on supply.
responders going into the home of someone with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, one member goes into the residence and communicates with the others via cellphone in order to minimize exposure to personnel. “We didn’t want to get shorthanded — we’re busy and have been working around the clock,” he said. As in all emergencies, having a plan, holding a unified command meeting every day and sharing information “is what helped us survive as nicely,” according to Fontana.
This ladder truck from Worcester, Mass., is one of the apparatus that gets sprayed between calls and thoroughly cleaned to kill COVID-19. Fire Chief Michael Lavoie said the department will likely continue doing so after COVID because it has noticed a decrease in even the common cold among personnel. (Photo provided)
of New Haven has approximately 400 police personnel and 335 firefighters. “We were not expecting this to explode like it did,” he said. Therefore, the city didn’t have enough N95 masks and PPE, leading it to borrow from other agencies. City officials also prioritized communicating with the state. While those challenges existed, Fontana felt the city did a pretty good job, evident by the fact that few first responders became ill with COVID. “As I said, never did we think it was a perfect response, but with multiple collaboration and cooperation between first responders, health care and government, we hit this thing head-on.” Fontana said there was no question about funding; officials were told to buy what they needed, “which would have been great if it was available.” Fontana, who’s been in emergency management for over 40 years, said the Strategic National Supply was one failure of the system. “I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but there was a huge amount of failure there.” He explained they were supposed to have vendor management, but he claimed after 9/11,
anthrax and Ebola outbreaks, government officials on all levels used the funds elsewhere. “Then this hit and we went looking for N95 masks and the elastics were snapping because they were old and not well managed,” he said. He predicts first responders will be wearing masks when dealing with patients long after COVID-19, just like it is now standard to wear gloves after the AIDS pandemic. He said the second wave of the pandemic this fall hit the city’s personnel harder, but from what officials can tell, those infections came from family or friends not work. The AeroClave is used in the city’s other fleets as well, including by the park department or the department of public works, especially when there had been some exposure to COVID-19. “We’ve been using that nonstop,” he said. Aside from the AeroClave, all vehicles get a thorough cleaning throughout the interior every day. Fontana also stated the city did well with its messaging to residents, which included passing out masks where it could. “Coordination is key — sharing communication and keeping the public informed,” he said. Another change made was how they deal directly with patients. Rather than all the first
Worcester, Mass. “In March we kind of panicked — we couldn’t get wipes, sprayers, bleach, etc. We borrowed a sprayer from the school system because they were closed,” Fire Chief Michael Lavoie of Worcester admitted, noting the sprayer was used for 10 stations and 21 fire apparatus. But because the fire department is used to having to clean fire equipment, Deputy Chief Martin Dyer said that helped everyone get through until they got additional equipment. “The fire service is used to cleaning — whenever we get back to the station after a call, we have to deep clean so that helped cover the gap when the virus first hit,” he said. It was around May when the fire department received one sprayer for each of its 10 stations and the firefighters spray the interior of each apparatus every day. They also wear face coverings. Dyer said used PPE is left at the scene, and if firefighters are unable to do so for some reason, they have an exterior compartment for storage until such items can be discarded. The sprayer and cleaning solution are used citywide for all vehicles — police officers spray their vehicles between each shift and the department of public works also has sprayers. The city’s ambulance service is contracted out. Lavoie said everyone’s attention level has risen as far as wearing PPE. When asked if the department will continue the practice of spraying post-COVID, Lavoie replied it probably would as several people have noticed colds and flu illness are way down among personnel and any COVID transmission has been through family and friend connections. A COVID outbreak among their mechanics showed vulnerability the department hadn’t considered. Lavoie said all their mechanics were lost for five days, and it was just lucky there were no breakdowns. MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 25
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“Four to five years ago, we upgraded our fleet and that helped us get through; if we were running an old fleet, we would have had to call in outside help,” Lavoie said. Having the entire mechanic team out was a “wake-up call for continuation of operations,” according to Dyer. Lavoie said there’s a mobile vehicle emergency repair the city has since contacted in the event something like this should happen again. All fire personnel have also been vaccinated. Dry fogging the way to go Twin City Ambulance — a private ambulance company in New York, which serves Buffalo, Tonawanda, Amherst and more — purchased a fogging machine, and it has been extremely pleased with it. Logistics Manager Joe Lavey said the ambulance company had an electrostatic sprayer, which gives off a fine mist, and with COVID19, staff were using it a lot more. However, electronics and water are never a good mix; additionally, the sprayer left a residue that had to be wiped down and an odor that was bothering crew members. Lavey was tasked with finding a better option that would save money while being safe and available, so he conducted research online and found Purus. “The rep came in and did a demo, and it was out of this world — almost too good to be true,” he said. But once he researched the product and the science behind it, he was convinced. The Purus system is a true dry fog system and has a stand-alone and a backpack. Twin City Ambulance purchased the backpack, which has a wand and uses two different solutions. One step is spraying the cleaning solution in the ambulance, and after two minutes, it will kill COVID, the flu, etc. In 10 minutes, it will kill other diseases. The second step is an antimicrobial dry fog that will then sit for 10 minutes, and it covers all surfaces and protects for 90 days, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Twin City Ambulance repeats the process every 30 days instead of 90 days. “With dry fog, we leave all the equipment in the ambulance — computers, bags, etc. It coats everything 100% in 10 minutes then we open the doors, let it air out and we’re good to go,” he said. There are no chemicals, no wiping down and no taking everything out. The ambulance company had employees getting sick, but once it switched to the new system, COVID dropped to almost nothing. Once a month each ambulance gets decontaminated with both steps, but if staff take a call with a patient who has any type of breathing issues, they bring the crew back immediately after and go through step one again. Lavey said Twin City Ambulance saved a lot of money from not buying wipes and sprays, not to mention the downtime for the ambulance. It used to take at least an hour to deep clean after COVID calls; now it’s about 20 minutes. The fog is sprayed in from the back door, and when staff can’t see the windshield, they stop and let it sit for a few minutes. Afterward, it leaves a new car smell. “The EPA gave it a 99.9% kill rate,” he said. According to Lavey, the purchase is “absolutely affordable” even for small municipalities, but Twin City Ambulance bought it early on. At that time, its investment was approximately $10,000 for the 26 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
The Purus dry fogging system is used in an ambulance. (Photo provided) backpack and wand. A step one solution cost about $50 a gallon, and the step two antimicrobial solution cost about $100 a gallon. He said Twin City put the Purus system in place in September or October, and it has only used a couple of gallons of solution. When it needs more solution, Twin City calls and the representative brings it in the next day. The system comes with a three-year parts and labor guarantee. Lavey said depending on one’s location, if a municipality didn’t want to buy the equipment, Purus has a service where they can come in once a month and do the cleaning, adding a lot of municipalities in the Buffalo area are jumping on board. “It’s the only way to get true 100% coverage,” Lavey said, “and no cleaning afterward.” That investment in September is probably paid for by now, according to Lavey, and he thinks technically Twin City Ambulance has made some money back in the savings from not purchasing wipes, spray solution and the downtime for cleaning. In fact, Lavey said Twin City will “absolutely continue using this after COVID — it kills TB, AIDS, hepatitis and any human pathogen.” Lavey highly recommends the Purus system and declares that it works. When you keep your fleet healthy and safe, you’re better able to keep serving the public.
GSA Recommendations for Fleets • Rotate shifts or split days so fewer technicians are in the shop. onduct virtual inspections of vehicles versus having •C employees fly in for in-person inspections. • Stock up on supplies and parts in the event of supply disruption. •U se the EPA’s list of approved cleaners for COVID and the CDC’s guidelines for cleaning. ave police agencies use drones more to remain social •H distancing.
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C Te c h . i s /m u n i c i p a l 2 1 “ CT E C H M a n u fact u r i n g i s v e ry s u p p o rt i v e o f L AW E n f o r c e m e n t a n d d o e s a n e xc e l l e n t j o b ”
“ C T EC H M a n u fa c t u r i n g h a s p rov e n t h e i r p rofe s s i o n a l i s m , s h ow e d t h e i r i n c re d i b l e attention to detail with an outstanding s u p e r i o r q u a l i t y p ro d u c t . I w a n t t o s ay t h a t C T EC H M a n u fa c t u r i n g i s v e r y s u p p o r t i v e of Law E nfo rc e m e n t a n d d o e s a n exc e l l e n t j o b p ro d u c i n g a n exc e p t i o n a l p ro r duct. I am pleased with the re l a t i o n s h i p t h a t w e h av e b u i l t .” -S h e r i ﬀ M a r k P o d o l l G re e n La ke C o u n t y, G re e n La ke , W I
MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 27
M Focus on: Fleet Service & Management
Fleet cards simplify operations By AMANDA DEMSTER | The Municipal
As many municipal fleet managers have learned, fueling city vehicles can be easier said than done. There are contracts to write and sign, receipts to keep track of and budgets to maintain. While using gas cards for fleet vehicles may not eliminate these requirements, it can help cut down on the hassle. An example One example of a successful municipal gas card program comes from Gaffney, S.C. Gaffney Fleet Manager Wayne Parker noted his city contracts with the state for its gas card program, but this is only one of many options available. Parker also serves as president of the Southeast Governmental Fleet Management Association. Not every state may offer a gas card contract, so it is important for each municipality to select a program that makes sense for its day-to-day fleet operations. 28 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
One of the pros of using the state’s program, Parker said, is the fact he did not have to go through the bid process. “The state contract bids it out for you, so I didn’t have to shop around,” Parker said. Finding the right card The city of Gaffney owns its own fueling station through Mansfield Oil out of Gainesville, Ga. Mansfield owns the fuel, which the city then purchases with its municipal fleet cards. This system, Parker said, has saved a lot of time, money and paperwork. “Mansfield Oil, they keep up with everything,” he said. “They know when I need gas; they bring it out automatically. They keep up with all the information that comes through with the cards. They’re the first
line of alerting in the event that something doesn’t look right.” Parker acknowledges not every city owns its own fueling station, so municipalities will need to shop around for a gas card program that is a good fit for them. Gaffney uses Wex brand credit cards, which can be used both at the municipal fueling station and at most outside gas stations. Not every brand of gas credit card can be used at public gas stations, however — something to keep in mind when considering options. Addressing concerns For any city, the ability to use municipal gas cards at outside locations can lead to concerns about mishandling or even theft. Because of this, card companies apply safeguards to all of their cards. Again, Parker used Wex as an example. First, each employee has his or her own sixdigit PIN, which generates a record of who is
The city of Gaffney, S.C., owns its fueling station through Mansfield Oil and uses Wex brand credit cards to track fuel use. (Photo provided)
“The problem with having just a fueling system and no fuel cards is, when the fuel system goes down, then you’ve got a major headache.” using the card, when and where. Next, users must enter an odometer reading. Under Gaffney’s program, each vehicle has its own card and the system stores the previous odometer reading for that vehicle. It is also designed to know approximately how often that type and size of vehicle needs refueling. “This system knows that if you filled up with fuel, it’s going to be 300 or 400 miles or less that you’re going to put into that odometer,” Parker said. “So, if the last time you used the card, the vehicle had 40,000 miles, and you enter 50,000 miles, it’s going to kick it right back out.” Each time a card is used, a report is generated, which Parker can then access. “It’s available any time on my computer, so I can pull it up at any time and see for myself if something doesn’t look right,” he said. This means Parker can see whether a card is used at the municipal fueling island, at another local gas station or in another town.
For example, an unexpected purchase at a public fueling station might raise a red flag. “We don’t see many outside purchases pop up,” Parker said. “When we do see one pop up, we can easily identify if it’s legit or not because we can identify who is out of town.” Choosing a program For any municipality considering implementing a new fleet card program or replacing or updating an existing one, Parker recommends seeing if there is a contract available through their state. Choosing a program, he added, will largely depend on where and how the city obtains fuel for its fleet. “One big question that has to be answered is, do they have their own fueling system on-site or do they purchase all of their fuel off-site,” he said.
Each employee has a six-digit PIN, which generates a record of who is using the card, when and where. Users are also required to enter an odometer reading. (Photo provided) Cities answering “no” to this question will need to look into companies that allow their cards to be used at public fueling stations. For cities that already have their own fueling systems, Parker recommends looking into a good gas card system. “We had a fueling system prior to this, but we didn’t have fuel cards,” he said. “The problem with having just a fueling system and no fuel cards is, when the fuel system goes down, then you’ve got a major headache.” In the past, if there was an outage at Gaffney’s fueling island, Parker had to contact a local public gas station and ask permission for municipal fleet vehicles to fill up there. Parker then had to make sure everyone using the public gas pumps turned in their receipts so he could file the proper paperwork. This, in turn, meant knowing who was fueling up when and from which department. “Now I call the department head of the fire department or police and say, ‘The fueling island’s down, and they’re going to have to go get gas somewhere else,’” he said. The computer system takes care of the rest. Of course, a city does not need to own its own fueling station to implement a gas card program. A little research will go far in finding the right card to fit each municipality’s needs. MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 29
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M Focus on: Fleet Service & Management
Ames, Iowa, makes green fleet moves
Ames is testing two Chevy Bolts and has partnered with its municipal electric system to establish charging stations for the public and city vehicles. (Photo provided)
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By ANDREW MENTOCK | The Municipal
A growing trend among municipal fleets is a pivot to greener, more sustainable practices. Ames, Iowa, and its fleet services Director Corey Mellies are starting on top of the curve with moves to hybrid vehicles and 100% biodiesel fuel when possible.
“Green initiatives have always been important to the city,” Mellies said. “We have for a long time tracked our usage, looking at our greenhouse gas or our CO2 output for our fleet. We have always tried to look at new initiatives, whether that’s hybrids or electric vehicles — things like that can meet people’s needs.” One of the major recent initiatives was the purchase of several all-purpose dump trucks that utilize the Optimus Technolo- Fleet Services Director gies advanced fuel system. This allows all Corey Mellies seven vehicles to run on 100% biodiesel fuel. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, biodiesel is a biodegradable fuel created from “vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled restaurant grease.” This enables it to meet the renewable fuel standard. “We partnered with REG (Renewable Energy Group), which is a large supplier of biodiesel and biofuels throughout the country. So we saw really good results out of that. So, and hopefully here in a couple months, we’ll have six more trucks show up, so all of our dump trucks will run on B100.” Now, that doesn’t mean the trucks don’t still rely on traditional diesel fuel, especially given the frigid winter temperatures in central Iowa. “In the last year, we went through about 10,000 gallons of B100,” Mellies said. “These systems allow for you to have two tanks, one — the bigger tank — all B100 and then there’s a smaller tank with regular diesel, so it actually purges the system. So during start up, and so you don’t get any of the jelling, it won’t run to B100 till it’s warm enough. We also have a special fuel tank that keeps it warm.” The Ames fleet service has also made a shift to hybrid police vehicles, which are beneficial to the environment. Additionally, despite the higher sticker price of hybrid vehicles, the switch has turned into a cost-saving initiative. “We also started putting the hybrid patrol vehicles from Ford into service, and we’ve seen great results out of those two,” Mellies said. “We’ve seen the miles per gallon actually double — go from about 9 to 18 miles per gallon. Obviously, that’s a big, big savings, and a lot of that’s because of the idling. They have to idle to keep their computer systems and radios and everything running. They rarely shut the vehicles off.” Ames patrol vehicles essentially run 24 hours a day, spanning over multiple shifts. In two years of running those hybrid vehicles, they’ve traveled 125,000 miles, so additional fuel per gallon has really added up. “We’re also seeing a lot of reduced maintenance costs in that because we don’t have to do oil changes as often,” Mellies said. “We aren’t seeing the wear and tear, like we did on the old vehicles. The city is also still committed; we just did a greenhouse gas inventory that showed that our fleet overall has reduced our greenhouse gas, even though the city itself is growing through some of our initiatives.” MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 33
continued from page 33
A shift to hybrid police vehicles has seen the miles per gallon double from about 9 to 18 miles per gallon, resulting in big savings for the city of Ames. (Photo provided)
Ames, Iowa, purchased all-purpose dump trucks that utilize the Optimus Technologies advanced fuel system; this allows all seven vehicles to run on 100% biodiesel fuel. (Photo provided)
Ames fleet services is also piloting a pair of Chevy Bolts. One is used by the city electric department and the other is a utility vehicle for anyone working in the city to use. “We do have two electric vehicles that we’re testing in the city,” Mellies said. “We have a municipal electric system. So we partnered with
34 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
them to kind of get some charging stations for the public and for the city vehicles installed in the city.” As the cost of electric vehicles continues to become more and more consumer friendly, Mellies said Ames could look into investing in more of them. This is only the start for Ames. The city intends to put together a climate action plan in the near future, which will almost certainly incorporate additional sustainability practices for fleet services. “Even for us, we look at other communities that are doing even more and maybe trying different things,” Mellies said. “I think you’ll see it more and more. For a lot of cities, it could actually bring some value, not just the environmental component, which is still very important. You’ll see more in cities doing things like a climate action plan and setting goals, which will definitely impact the fleets.”
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M Focus on: Fleet Service & Management
California City officer J. Flores poses with the police department’s first refurbished Crown Victoria. The department’s experience with refurbishing vehicles has been positive. (Photo provided)
Refurbishments add new life to vehicles, ease municipal budgets By JANET PATTERSON | The Municipal
When the newly hired California City police chief arrived in town, he realized he had three goals to achieve. The goals were aimed at “making this a good place to work,” Jon Walker, a retired Los Angeles police officer, said about his hiring in early 2020. He wanted to ensure his 12 officers received continuing training; he had to repair and update the 30-year-old police station; and he had to update the force’s aging fleet of vehicles. The oldest Crown Victorias, which have seen steady use in the fleet, had nearly 200,000 miles on them; the majority had more than 100,000 miles. The newest SUVs in the California City fleet
36 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
had seen between 55,000 and 90,000 miles of use. Walker said the department was plagued with vehicle breakdowns and towing bills that totaled more than $200,000 in his first year. The vehicles proved to be the most daunting part of his threefold plan. “We ordered two new vehicles last June,” he said in mid-January. He knew COVID had hit the auto industry hard with the decreased flow of parts from overseas manufacturers as well as slowed domestic production and plant shutdowns,
California City Police Chief Jon Walker performs a search on horseback. Sworn in as police chief in January 2020, Walker has a list of priorities, including updating the force’s aging fleet of vehicles. (Photo provided)
but the projected delivery of October or November for the two new Ford Explorers dragged on into 2021. California City is located in the Mojave Desert about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. While it is the state’s third largest city, covering more than 200 square miles, its population numbers only about 13,000. What this means for the police department is a lot of rough and dusty territory that is hard on vehicles and the systems both inside the car and under the hood. After consulting with police chiefs in neighboring McFarland and Ridgecrest, Walker discovered a new option for the aging vehicles. “They told me about a place in Orange County that refurbishes police cars for a fraction of the cost of a new one,” he said. Instead of the $50,000 price tag for a new vehicle, the company refurbishes police cruisers and SUVs for less than half that price, with a six-week turnaround and a warranty of three years and unlimited miles. “You only get 36,000 miles on the warranty for a new vehicle.” California City is one of many municipalities turning to refurbishment rather than the replacement of fleet vehicles in a variety of ways and for a number of reasons. In addition to the cost-saving benefits of refurbishment, sometimes it comes down to whether you are happy with the vehicle you own. “I always ask people if they love their truck … If they do, they should refurbish it,” said Ron Fink of Fireline Equipment in New Holland, Pa. Unlike the police cruisers in California City, most fire department vehicles have fairly low mileage because their emergency calls are generally within a small geographic area. Fink said refurbishment can be anything from new seat cushions, paint and graphics to replacing the engine and transmission, electronics and lights to mounting the existing truck body on a new chassis. While the cost of refurbishing a large fire truck with aerial ladders can run anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000, those numbers are still a fraction of the cost of a new truck. The popularity of refurbishment has grown in recent years, and Fink said Fireline has worked on vehicles from as far away at Washington State and as old as a 1981 truck. When a fire department approaches him about working on a truck, he has a list of questions to help in making the decision. Some departments may be hoping to get another five years from a truck before replacing it and some may want an additional 15 years. “Sometimes they may not be able to get the same product that has worked well for their situation,” he noted. The answers help Fink and his team determine if refurbishment is the answer and what components need to be replaced. “Refurbishment is not right for everyone. It just depends on the individual situation.” Fink said some smaller fire departments cannot have a vehicle out of service for the two to three months it may take for required work. In that case, purchasing a new or used vehicle may be the best answer. He pointed out renting a replacement vehicle for that time period can also be an option. “It comes down to whether they’re spending good money or bad money to keep the truck they’ve been using,” he added. “We can help them with that decision.” John Scullin of Demers, Braun, Crestline Ambulances in Van Wert, Ohio, added because municipal budgets have “just been shredded”
A Neptune Fire Company truck is ready for refurbishment. (Photo provided by Fireline Equipment)
Refurbishment can include new seat cushions, paint and graphics; the replacement of engines, transmissions, electronics and lights; and even the mounting of existing truck body on a new chassis. Pictured is the Neptune Fire Company truck’s refurbishment in progress. (Photo provided by Fireline Equipment)
lately, public safety agencies have had to get creative about ways to update their fleet to current safety standards. A “remount,” as refurbishments are called in the ambulance business, fixes not only mechanical and interior wear and tear but can also swap old halogen lights for the brighter, more energy-efficient LED lights and replace outdated electronics for newer, more userfriendly equipment. Scullin said remounts cost approximately 30% of the price for a new ambulance and will add years to the average five-year lifespan of an ambulance. In addition, remounting can preserve the quality of a well-built vehicle.
MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 37
continued from page 37
The day California City’s Chief Walker picked up the first refurbished Crown Victoria from Wild Rose Motors in Anaheim, he had praise for his nearly new vehicle. “We just took it out for a test drive, and we couldn’t be happier.” Walker said the new interior was comfortable and the car handled well. “We’ve contracted to refurbish four Crown Vics.” He added Wild Rose also refurbishes SUVs for a $26,000 price tag and promises the same warranty and the same six-week turnaround time. “It almost makes me wonder why I would buy a new vehicle.” Walker did note the ideal for any department is to rotate the replacement of fleet vehicles. Since budgets are tight for many municipalities, this is a step municipalities sometimes believe they cannot afford to do. “But when you consider the cost of repair bills and towing charges for breakdowns, that can add up pretty quickly.”
The Neptune Fire Company truck looks brand new following its refurbishment, which entailed body work, additional storage, new lights and a new paint job, among other elements. (Photo provided by Fireline Equipment)
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A small town with a strong beautification program:
Fairhope, Ala. By MAGGIE KENWORTHY | The Municipal
After starting as a utopian society in 1894, Fairhope, Ala., has since become a must-see city for artists and nature lovers. Located along Mobile Bay, the locals strive to keep the city clean and attractive for years to come. Fairhope is home to many unique floral displays. Seen in the background is Fairhope’s famous working floral clock. (Photo provided by the city of Fairhope)
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Fairhope Municipal Pier is a popular spot for both residents and tourists to frequent. The 1,448-foot pier is free to visit and home to many gathering spots. (Photo provided by the city of Fairhope) “It’s a small town with a strong beautification program,” said Mayor Sherry Sullivan. “What our brand is, to a degree, is the floral displays that we provide throughout our downtown and throughout the city. Those are changed out four times a year. And that’s kind of what brings people back.” The beautification program has been in effect since 1981 when a tree planting program was started in the downtown area. It wasn’t until 1985 that the city began growing and designing the annual flower beds. “The beautification program has really become our brand. That’s what people again come to Fairhope for, not only for the arts but to look at our floral displays,” said Sullivan. “We were one of the first municipalities in the Southeast to hire a horticulturist … we’ve had city horticultural staff for a number of years to be able to maintain that beautification program.” Sullivan describes the floral displays as a type of “instant magic.” The displays are switched out and replanted during the evening or early morning hours. When tourists and residents wake up for the day, they are often greeted by a new display. Every street corner in downtown Fairhope has its own unique The city of Fairhope was originally founded in 1894 as a utopian flower bed. The city even has trash cans with floral displays on top city. Since then, the city has become a popular tourism site due of them. In addition, there is a working floral clock. to the local arts community and access to Mobile Bay. (Photo When guests aren’t admiring the many floral displays, they can provided by the city of Fairhope) enjoy the bustling arts community the city offers. The city is home to the Eastern Shore Art Center. The center holds multiple galleries with rotating exhibits. In addition, the Fairhope is currently looking at restoring and improving one of center hosts many events around the town, including First Friday its main attractions — the Fairhope Municipal Pier. Art Walks. “We’re one of the only public access areas on the eastern shore, Fairhope’s main attraction when it comes to the arts is the and it’s the largest access area on the eastern shore,” said Sullivan. annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival. “Each year on the third weekend of March, thousands of visitors “People really, really love coming down to the pier and being able come to downtown Fairhope for one of the most prestigious juried to walk out on it.” This location is known as the town square and is home to the art shows in the southeast,” said Paige Crawford, tourism and spe1,448-foot pier, a rose garden, a fountain and a beach area. cial events manager. On a normal year, this festival brings over 300 artists and 100,000 “Like so many other communities on the coast, the city of Fairhope tourists to Fairhope. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the festival suffered economic injuries as a result of the 2010 BP oil spill, and will be a little bit smaller for its 69th year and will consist of an the awarding of the RESTORE funding for our working waterfront Alabama-only artist show. project was contingent on economic development, resiliency MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 41
continued from page 41 and sustainability,” said Crawford. “The scope of work for this project, as defined in the approved grant application, entails all project work related to improvements to the shoreline and bluffs along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay in Fairhope.” The project, Working Waterfront and Greenspace Project — Fairhope Municipal Pier and South Beach Park Improvements, includes stabilization of the steep bluff. This will allow for a majority of the bluff to become a usable park area with a new beach. In addition, new restrooms, pavilions and a gallery-style seating area will be constructed. The project also includes storm protection and the rehabilitation of existing features, such as the parking lot. “It’s been probably 50 years since we’ve done a major overhaul of that area, other than just doing some upgrades when we have storms,” said Sullivan. This project is set to begin this year and will take up to 18 months to complete. The hope is to keep at least some of the pier accessible during the majority of the construction so people can still enjoy everything Fairhope has to offer. And people really do seem to be enjoying Fairhope more and more as time passes. According to the Baldwin County Alabama Economic Development Alliance, the city of Fairhope has seen a 20% growth in population over the last five years. Mayor Sullivan attributes a lot of this growth to the town’s dedication to beautification.
In the upcoming year, the Fairhope Municipal Pier and South Beach Park Improvements project will begin. This large project will restore and improve the pier area, which is considered the town square. (Photo provided by the city of Fairhope)
“I’m so proud of what we’ve done here. The people wanting to move here and the growth that we’ve seen is a testament to the leaders who came before me and their vision for what Fairhope could be,” said Sullivan. “Growing up here and knowing how things were 25 years ago, to me, I’m amazed every day at the community that we’ve created and how beautiful it is, and the wonderful people who lived here, and I hope that we can continue just making improvements that continue maintaining our quality of life and that small-town feel, so for generations, it’s the best place.”
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Public Safety By NICHOLETTE CARLSON | The Municipal
Cops Care connects Union City police and community In 2020, the Union City, N.J., Police Department was unable to hold its annual summer Junior Police Academy. However, Police Chief Nichelle Luster still wanted to find a way to connect with children in the community.
The city has 14 schools with an approximate student population around 14,000. Each school has a uniformed school resource officer. These school resource officers help to find candidates for the Junior Police Academy. However, with school on virtual learning beginning in March due to the pandemic and restrictions making the academy an impossibility, Luster got to thinking about “how to make my officers interact with these kids.” In a brainstorming session between herself, the mayor and the school resource officers, Union City’s Cops Care program was born. The goal of the program was to find activities that would be inexpensive, require little setup and be something the kids would want to do anyway. Since school resource officers are also on the front line for discovering and helping with social issues and issues at home, Luster wanted to ensure children still had the ability to reach out. The Cops Care program “went old school,” as Luster described. They held small gatherings at various locations with different time slots available. Throughout the months of July and August, the department held 81 Cops Care events. Flyers and social media were used to share with the community what neighborhood Cops ABOVE LEFT: K-9 demonstrations were one activity offered throughout the summer to help demystify equipment the department uses. Children learned they did not need to fear police officers, their equipment or the dogs. (Photo provided by Union City Police Department) LEFT: These flyers were shared throughout the community and on social media to show families when the Cops Care program events would be taking place. Due to the pandemic and safety restrictions, Union City’s usual Junior Police Academy program was unable to take place. The police department, board of education and city members partnered together to create Cops Care. (Photo provided by Union City Police Department)
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When choosing activities for the Cops Care program, Union City Police Chief Nichelle Luster wanted things the community children would be going out and doing anyway, like basketball and volleyball. (Photo provided by Union City Police Department)
Care would be in and what days and times certain events would take place. In choosing activities and locations, the program was headed by lead officers, school resource officers and DARE officers who led and organized each event. The department also worked with the board of education on using the school facilities for the program. Often times the events would take place in the city’s schoolyards. Activities at these events included pickup basketball, volleyball, kickball and demonstrations from the emergency service unit and K-9 unit. Demonstrations were utilized to try to take the mystery and fear out of the police department’s equipment and teach children not to fear the dogs, equipment or officers. A nonprofit organization, We Care, even taught clinics on, as Luster described it, “the lost art of jump roping.” Each event was led by one or two police officers, typically a school resource officer. Safety precautions were set in place so all children participating underwent temperature screenings, wore masks, were socially distanced and used provided hand sanitizer. Some days three or four children would show up; some days there were around 16 or 17 children. Small snacks and water were also provided. One of the main goals of the Union City Police Department is to be involved in the community. After the events, the department would seek out feedback. This is how Luster discovered the jumping rope clinics were a bigger hit than organizers would have imagined. Overall the events and program received extremely positive feedback. Pre-pandemic the police department would also hold approximately 100 community meetings a year to gather feedback and ideas and discuss what has been happening in the community.
One or two school resource officers and other officers in the department would organize and participate in each Cops Care event. In partnering with the board of education, the department was able to hold many of these events at the local schoolyards. (Photo provided by Union City Police Department)
“Moving forward I always want to have some component of the Cops Care program,” Luster stated. She admitted, “The scale will depend on where we are with Junior Police Academy.” If safety restrictions allow the Junior Police Academy to continue this summer, she does not want to lose that one-on-one assistance the program offers. “It (Cops Care) will continue, just scaled down. Maybe two to three times a week,” she explained. With such easy access to the news and social media, children could easily become overwhelmed with negative news stories regarding law enforcement and creating a fear of police officers. One of Luster’s goals is to ensure that does not happen in Union City. “Now more than ever, it’s important to show the community we’re people, too, and get out and play with the kids,” she emphasized. For any cities looking to create a similar program, Luster suggested utilizing school resource officers and partnering with the board of education as well as a possible municipal alliance. These resources can help with facilities, program ideas and more. MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 45
All-America Cities summarize their successes
By AMANDA DEMSTER | The Municipal
Each year, the National Civic League awards cities nationwide with the All-America Cities Award, acknowledging their efforts to improve their residents’ lives. The 2020 award focused on health and wellness, and 10 cities overcame numerous challenges, including a global pandemic, to earn this distinction. A review committee, comprised of experts from various fields pertaining to that year’s theme, studies each application and narrows them down to the top 20. These community entities are then invited to an awards ceremony, where each makes a final presentation before a panel of judges, who then vote on the top 10. These are named that year’s AllAmerica Cities, and this year they included Algoma, Wis.; Danville, Va.; El Paso, Texas; Franklin, Tenn.; Miami Gardens, Fla.; Muncie, Ind.; Pitt County, N.C.; Portsmouth, Ohio; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; and Rochester, N.Y. In many cases, it is not the city’s government but local schools or nonprofit entities that actually apply for the award. According
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to Rebecca Trout of the National Civic League, this is not uncommon. “We’re not necessarily looking to award the city government, but we’re looking to reward the community as a whole,” Trout said. Below is a partial list of 2020 All-America City award recipients. Algoma, Wis. Algoma is an example of a school district working to better the overall community, accomplishing this through the Live Algoma Initiative. Live Algoma has introduced programs like Wolf Tech, the Algoma Community Wellness Center and the Wolf Den. “I think what really was unique was their application was actually led by their school district, and it had a high amount of youth involvement,” Rebecca Trout of the National Civic League said.
Algoma experienced what Trout called a “brain drain,” with youth growing up and leaving the community for outside careers. To change this, Live Algoma launched Wolf Tech, partnering high school students with businesses and manufacturers. Students build a rapport with local employers, who provide leadership, mentorship and future job opportunities. Through the Community Wellness Center, located at the high school, all ages come together to learn to live a healthier lifestyle. “Those people are in a relationship in our community,” Algoma Schools Superintendent Nick Cochart said. “It’s no longer the 75-year-olds looking down on the youth, and it’s no longer the youth looking down on the 75-year-olds. It’s a mutual respect for each other.” Wolves and Pups pairs at-risk elementary students with high schoolers, who provide a good example and a listening ear. When several of the “Wolves” learned their “Pups” were feeling isolated due to a number of factors, they started the Wolf Den after-school program, a safe place where young students can learn and socialize. “Truly, it’s a school district with leaders working to improve their community as a whole,” Algoma School District Director of Improvement and Community Engagement Teal VanLanen said of all three programs. Danville, Va. Danville’s programs fall under The Health Collaborative, which has launched Fit Mobile, the Youth Health Equity Leadership Institute and Community Health Workers. Through Fit Mobile, Averett University students work with Danville Parks and Recreation personnel to provide free community wellness activities, like nutrition programs, fitness-related activities and more. Operating at eight locations, five days a week, FitMobile reaches all ages. “The participants have really embraced the students and parks and recreation,” Danielle Montague of Danville Parks and Recreation
The Community Health Worker Initiative trains health care workers to come alongside Danville’s more at-risk populations. CHWs connect individuals and families to medical care, with the ultimate goal of decreasing emergency room visits and raising awareness of healthrelated disparities.
Danville, Va., celebrates winning the All-America Cities Award. Several health-related programs, which fall under The Health Collaborative, contributed to its win. (Photo provided)
The Youth Health Equity Leadership Institute encourages high school students to graduate on time and plan for success and offers a safe environment with fun activities. Pictured are YHELI participants on a hike. (Photo provided)
said. “The children who work out with the students are able to actually be children.” Adults have also given positive feedback. “A lot of adults are seeing more confidence in themselves,” Montague said. “And, on the other hand, they are able to walk up stairs more easily; they are able to get more mobility without pain.” Jason Bookheimer, Danville parks department, added the program has influenced students’ career paths. The university has also reworked its curriculum to include a class through which students participate in the program. Shani Gaylord and Rhynecor Inge oversaw the Youth Health Equity Leadership Institute, a five-year, grant-funded pilot program encouraging high school students to graduate on time and plan for success. Community partners mentored students, providing a safe space for them to meet their potential. Among YHELI participants, the graduation rate was between 99% and 100%. “It’s just exciting to know that students want to do well, with having that safe space,” Gaylord said.
El Paso, Texas El Paso Deputy City Manager, Public Safety, Dionne Mack highlighted two of the city’s programs submitted for the AAC award. Wanting to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, the El Paso Behavioral Health Consortium partners with The Family Leadership Council, the Justice Leadership Council and the Integration Leadership Council, along with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. “The consortium has significantly increased mental health first aid among first responders and other public servants, reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and increasing access to mental health services by integrating them into primary care and other health and human services settings,” Mack said. As a border city, El Paso has a unique position. In 2019, tens of thousands of people came into El Paso and other cities from Central and South America, seeking asylum. The city was not about to say, “no.” Local churches and organizations, like St. Ignatius Church and Annunciation House, along with members of the community, provided food, shelter, clothing and other resources these new arrivals needed. “Through tireless hours, community members from all walks of life and organizations gave of themselves to raise funds, secure temporary housing and provide goods and services to the multitude of asylum seekers who came with nothing,” Mack said. According to the AAC website, El Paso also takes care of its fourlegged residents. The local shelter is focusing on attaining no-kill status through programs like Trap, Neuter, Return and the Animal Protection Academy. The El Paso Veterinarian Association and Community Foundation’s Animal Collaborative host free pet vaccination clinics, and the Kiddie Reading Club invites children to read books to shelter kittens.
Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity and the Vectren Foundation formed the 8twelve Coalition, which battles neighborhood decline by focusing on housing, jobs, education and beautification. (Photo provided)
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during which preservice teachers become part of the community, working in the schools and at after-school programs while participating in community events and activities. The idea, Ball State University’s Jane Ellery said, is to give the teachers firsthand knowledge of the variety of contexts from which their future students will be coming. Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity and the Vectren Foundation formed the 8twelve Coalition, battling neighborhood decline by focusing on housing, jobs, education and beautification. Projects are resident-driven, with support from local nonprofit organizations and businesses. “They have gone into the neighborhood and given it a voice,” Ellery said. In Muncie, 8twelve Coalition projects are resident-driven and supported by local nonprofits and businesses. Pictured are volunteers at the South Central Community Garden. (Photo provided)
Muncie’s Web of Support and Schools Within the Context of Community, in addition to 8twelve Coalition, were two programs for which it received an All-America Cities Award. Both seek to support city youth. (Photo provided)
Muncie, Ind. Ball State University’s Jane Ellery spearheaded Muncie’s application, focusing on the Web of Support program, Schools Within the Context of Community and the 8twelve Coalition. Web of Support began in January 2020. It operates under the belief that — to achieve a healthy, successful life — a person needs a web of at least five “strong anchors” in his or her life who can provide both tangible and intangible support. For a child, these can be family members, teachers, coaches and other adults. This web changes as that individual grows, but the need remains. Students learn about “webbing up,” surrounding themselves with at least five positive adult influences. Adults are also encouraged to “web up” while learning how to serve as the anchors kids of all ages need. More than a decade ago, Ball State University’s Teachers College joined forces with Muncie’s Whitely Community to form Schools Within the Context of Community, an intensive, immersive semester 48 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
Pitt County, N.C.’s, community garden coordinator, Joni YoungTorres, teaches elementary children about seedlings at the community garden. (Photo provided)
Pitt County, N.C. In Pitt County, inmates reentering society had little access to resources or housing and often ended up back in prison. The Pitt County Local Reentry Council seeks to reduce this number. “We have a sheriff who is really focused and dedicated on bringing all the resources she possibly can into the detention center,” Pitt County Recreation and Projects Coordinator Paula Dance, Pitt Alice Keene said. County Sheriff The Sheriff’s Heroin Addiction Recovery Program offers daily classes and activities to help inmates overcome addiction. Other programs offer GED assistance, employment training, mentoring, career readiness and many other tools inmates need to integrate successfully back into society. Health care for underserved populations was another concern.
Michelle Etheridge, Community Paramedic for Pitt County
“The reality was there were a lot of people in the rural parts of our county who were totally disconnected to medical services,” Keene said. The county launched the Community Paramedic Program, training medics to work with the rural population, ensuring they can access medical services and know how to use them. Through this, the number of visits to the local emergency rooms has greatly declined. The Farm and Food Council resulted from a two-year task force study based on a desire to establish a viable local food network in Pitt County. The local farmers market features a farm school that provides training on the business aspect of farming. A community garden teaches local kindergartners about nutrition and growing their own food. The Pitt Food Finder app lists food pantries, soup kitchens, farmers markets and other places where food is available. “We’ve seen much success across the board,” Keene said. “It’s been a collaborative effort between county government, the cooperative extension and our community partners.” Rochester, N.Y. “They did a great job of meeting residents where they are,” Trout said of Rochester. According to the AAC website, nearly one-third of adults in the area surrounding Rochester had high blood pressure. Aware of the dangers, the Blood Pressure Collaborative launched in 2010. Data showed the city’s Black and Latino populations were underserved. In response, the collaborative honed its strategies to reach out to those who were being left behind. Disparities did not exist only in health care. Statistics showed suspension rates among Black students and students with disabilities were disproportionately high. The Community Task Force on School Climate formed and immediately moved into action. A report from the Alliance for Quality
Rochester, N.Y.’s, Blood Pressure Collaborative launched in 2010 to help serve a population where one-third of adults had high blood pressure. (Photo provided)
El Camino neighborhood residents in Rochester, N.Y., ride bikes on El Camino Trail. Project HOPE was create to improve the neighborhood’s quality of life. (Photo provided)
Education led the school system to update its disciplinary code. Terms were redefined, suspensions were designated as last-minute resorts and restorative practices were put into place. In the first two years, the schools’ overall suspension rate dropped dramatically. Rochester’s El Camino neighborhood is known for its poverty rates. Wanting to improve the quality of life for those who lived there, the Ibero-American Development Corporation and the city created Project HOPE, which led to the formation of the El Camino Charrette and Vision Plan. Book clubs, neighborhood groups, a walking trail and La Marketa cultural market all grew from these efforts. Parents helped create a children’s garden in what used to be a spot for drugs and prostitution. The !No Mas! syringe cleanup effort tackles opioids locally. “It was really community members and organizations that drove this process and are the reason why we are an amazing community to work in and live in,” Kelly Miterko, Rochester director of policy, said of these programs.
Future Spotlights Future spotlights will be given on Franklin, Tenn.; Miami Gardens, Fla.; Portsmouth, Ohio; and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in later editions of The Municipal.
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Building & Construction
Salisbury captures civic pride with ambitious revitalization project By LAUREN CAGGIANO | The Municipal
Salisbury, Md., is a small city with big-city ambitions. The southeastern Maryland city of about 33,000 residents recently completed a phased, multiyear downtown improvement project that reflects decades’ worth of community input and visioning. In addition to Main Street revitalization, the scope of the project included the replacement of 100-year-old water and sewer mains, installation of high-speed internet lines and aesthetic improvements above ground. The work started in 2016, and the city officially unveiled the project at a ribbon cutting in November 2020. City Administrator Julia Glanz said the community involvement piece was just as important as the technical execution. “We talked about what we’d want our downtown to look like and, at the same time, charted a new future for our community,” she said. “We’re grateful for all of the years folks were championing this, especially after four or five years of tough construction.” Speaking of construction, Glanz said the work was completed both on budget and on time. A bit of an anomaly in government,
LEFT: Salisbury’s “Plaza” has had many interactions over the years, including being open to two-way vehicle travel, oneway traffic, pedestrian-only traffic and one way west. Currently, it is open to one-way east traffic. (Photo provided)
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she attributes this accomplishment to the extraordinary partnership with Salisbury’s contractor as well as setting a realistic timeline. “The last phase of our project was North Division Street and West Main Street,” she said. “We did it on a time and materials contract, the first of its kind the city has entered. And so, it shared the risk between the contractor and the city.” Glanz said this relationship allowed the city to really look at the qualifications of a vendor instead of just choosing one based on price alone. The officials ultimately hired Delaware-based infrastructure contractor George & Lynch, and the firm proved to be a capable and trustworthy partner. There was also the efficiency factor at play. The project was completed ahead of schedule because of the phased approach, Glanz said. “We were able to look at the first phase and the second phase and get a better idea of the cost for this last phase,” she said. “So we had a better sense of what was fair and realistic as we went into it. Without George & Lynch, I don’t know if we would have been as successful.” According to Glanz, the general consensus is the project was worth the wait. Downtown businesses are seeing the benefits, including more foot traffic and a renewed sense of civic pride from residents. The latter point really hit home, she said, during the holiday season in 2020. Downtown was aglow with string lights, and it left a positive impression on people. “Before that, I don’t think anybody really got the grand scale of it, and what it all meant,” she said. “So, I think all the pieces are finally coming together. And they realized that this was worth it.” Among the pieces? Addressing the city’s 100-year-old infrastructure. This is the legacy of Salisbury’s historic roots. “We found terra-cotta clay pipes and stuff was breaking,” she said. “For years we employed Band-Aid approaches, but it was time to take action. That was the main job — bringing our infrastructure up into the 21st century.” Other priorities included better stormwater management systems. Downtown residents and businesses will also have access to the fastest internet in the state. At the street level, Glanz said bike lanes and more parking were the finishing touches in making downtown a more attractive place to live, work and play. These welcome changes represent a new chapter in Salisbury’s history, if you ask Glanz. Generally speaking, residents and business owners are excited, optimistic and are looking to what’s next. For instance, as downtown businesses get more traction, there’s a need for more parking. Glanz said her team is taking that into account as Salisbury continues on its upward trajectory. On that note, Glanz said she’s confident the city will continue on its current path. For one, the demographics are on its side. “We’re among the youngest cities in Maryland,” she said. “Our median age is about 27.” Second, its economic base factors in. “We have a wide range in industry here,” she said. “We’ve got a large manufacturing base as well as a large hospital and university. So, I think we’ve been impacted less by downturns and things like that in the economy, because it is a diverse employment sector.”
Downtown Salisbury has had new life breathed into it following the completion of its Main Street revitalization project, which has brought an increase in foot traffic and a renewed sense of civic pride from residents. (Photo provided)
A ribbon-cutting event was held in November 2020 to officially unveil the finished Main Street project. (Photo provided)
A bike lane and parking were amenities added to Main Street in Salisbury. (Photo provided)
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Parks & Environmental Services
Winter Park Urban Forestry Division addresses aging tree canopy
A drone captures the tree canopy of Winter Park’s Central Park. (Photo provided by city of Winter Park) 52 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
Oak trees line Winter Park neighborhood streets, providing a canopy of shade. (Photo by Fred Mays)
By FRED MAYS | The Municipal
Winter Park, Fla., loves its trees, especially the towering oaks that line city streets and parks, and provide a canopy of shade to city neighborhoods. But this stalwart of urban forestry is facing a dilemma. Winter Park is losing the iconic oak trees faster than it can replant them. According to the city, there are 22,000 oak trees lining city streets and parks, and many thousands more are on private property. The problem? Most are laurel oaks that are coming to the end of their natural lives. “A laurel oak has a natural lifespan of 40-60 years in an urban environment,” according to Josh Nye, Winter Park’s urban forester and parks superintendent. Most of the laurel oaks were planted after World War II. Today they are going through a process known as “retrenchment,” which means they are naturally dying. It starts as limbs in the canopy start to break off during storms. Eventually, the insides of the tree are hollowed out, making it a risk for crashing onto streets and homes, thus posing a threat to life and property. The city of Winter Park formed a forestry office in 1953, one of the first of its kind in the country. The urban forestry division is part of the city’s parks department. The division has a $1.9 million budget, which works out to about $66 a year per resident, far above the Josh Nye is superintendent of national average. The urban forurban forestry for Winter Park, Fla. (Photo by Fred Mays) estry staff consists of four people,
including Nye. Most of the tree removal work is contracted out, but the city staff does selected pruning on their own. Nye and another staff member are certified arborists, with Tree Risk Assessment Qualified certification from the International Society of Arborists. The division’s fleet includes a large truck for hauling dead limbs away, a Bobcat front-end loader and a loader truck with a claw for picking up limbs and debris. They also have seven chainsaws of various sizes. Staff members routinely inspect older trees, especially those that tower over homes along city streets. They will also go on private property if a tree’s limbs overhang sidewalks or streets. Their way of gauging a tree’s health is decidedly low tech. They bang on the tree with the blunt end of a hatchet, and can tell by the sound reverberation whether the tree is hollow and ready to be removed. “You get to know what it sounds like,” said Nye. They also probe the base of trees with a 4-foot rod. Nye said, “If you get the probe to go all 4 feet, you have a problem.” Nye has been the city forester since 2015. In his tenure, the city has removed 2,172 trees, mostly laurel oaks. In the same time, the division has planted 2,186 trees. About half of them are live oaks. The change has been dramatic. The laurels are tall, nearly 70-feet, and have a broad canopy. They are being replaced with 12- to 15-foot live oaks, which offer very little shade at this stage of their life. In many cases homes that were once shaded are now exposed to the full Florida sun. Laurel oaks are fast growers but live short life spans for a tree. Live oaks grow slowly, but can live for hundreds of years. MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 53
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While no direct numbers are available, Nye said he goes along with a realtor estimate that a single oak tree adds $2,000 to $3,000 to the value of the property. “I’ve heard that number before. There is no question the trees add value to a property.” The laurel oaks really took a hit at a fevered pitch in 2004 when Hurricane Charley did a direct hit on the city, and within weeks, two other storms hit with glancing blows. Thousands of trees in Winter Park came down in the storms, some on top of homes. It took the city over a year to haul away the fallen trees. Tom McMackin is a landscape architect, former city council member and now sits on the Winter Park’s Tree Preservation Board. “There is no doubt in my mind that property values went down after the hurricanes.” As for the decision to replace the laurel oaks with live oaks, McMackin said, “Over time that was a wise choice.” While the majority of new city trees are live oaks, a more diversified approach is being made to the canopy. About half the new plantings are magnolias, elms, birch and sycamores. Nye said that is to give the city some insurance against a possible blight that kills off oak trees. The city staff determines the type of tree based on the planting space, the soil type and whether the property has an irrigation system. Winter Park works with two contractors for tree pruning and removal. Much of the pruning is done to keep tree limbs off power lines. Another contractor handles the planting of new trees. The live oaks cost the city $525 apiece, installed. In 2019, the city bought 300 of them. The contractor bids are put out every three years.
Many of Winter Park’s laurel oaks are reaching the end of their life spans and were particularly hit hard by Hurricane Charley in 2004. (Photo provided by city of Winter Park)
Depending on how severely the laurel oaks are affected, the staff will initially prune back branches and limbs to try and give them a few more years of life. “The citizens of Winter Park love their trees, and if we can give a tree a few more years, we’ll do that,” said Nye. Fred Mays is a freelance writer/photographer in Florida who specializes in environmental topics.
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Conference Calendar EDITOR’S NOTE: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, readers are encouraged to verify their conference’s status. The Municipal has updated entries’ statuses with information available as of press time; however, as the situation is still fluid, plans may change rapidly.
MARCH March 1-3 MSTPA 2021 Annual Spring Conference & Tradeshow (Rescheduled: Sept. 12-15) Chattanooga, Tenn. https://mstpa.org/annualconference March 7-10 NLC Congressional City Conference Virtual https://ccc.nlc.org/ March 8-10 Utah Recreation & Parks Association Annual Conference (Rescheduled: Aug. 30-Sept. 1) Provo, Utah urpa.org March 8-12 Work Truck Week 21 Virtual www.worktruckshow.com March 8-12 Texas Recreation & Park Society Institute and Expo (Virtual and In-Person) Frisco, Texas http://traps.org/institute-andexpo/ March 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24 Massachusetts Recreation and Park Association State Conference and Trade Show Virtual massrpa.org/annualconference/ March 9-11 Missouri Rural Water Association Annual Conference Branson Convention Center, Branson, Mo. moruralwater.org
March 9-12 Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society Conference and Expo Virtual www.prps.org
March 15, 17 and 19 League of California Cities Public Works Officer Institute & Expo Virtual www.cacities.org
March 10-11 Louisiana Association of Municipal Secretaries and Assistants Spring Conference Margaritaville Casino Resort, Bossier City, La. www.lma.org
March 16-17 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference Virtual www.mml.org
March 10-12 Idaho Rural Water Association Spring Conference (Rescheduled: May 25-27) Riverside Hotel, Boise, Idaho www.idahoruralwater.com March 14-17 Alabama Rural Water Association 43rd Annual Technical Training Conference Mobile, Ala. www.alruralwater.com March 15-17 Nebraska Rural Water Association Annual Conference Kearney, Neb. http://www.nerwa.org March 14-17 SCEC 2021 (Rescheduled: Aug. 8-11) Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Myrtle Beach, S.C. www.scwaters.org March 14-17 F.I.E.R.O. Fire PPE Symposium (Rescheduled: Oct. 26-29) Hyatt Regency, Greenville, S.C. www.fieroonline.org
March 17-19 FLAGFA Spring 2021 Conference The Shores Resort, Daytona Beach, Fla. www.flagfa.org March 17-19 Michigan Rural Water Association Annual Conference (Rescheduled: Aug. 10-13) Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, Mich. www.mrwa.net March 22-25 Carolina Recycling Association 31st Annual Conference & Trade Show Virtual www.cra-recycle.org March 22-26 California Park & Recreation Society Conference & Expo Virtual www.cprs.org March 23-25 WUI 2021 (Rescheduled: Nov. 14-16) Peppermill Resort, Reno, Nev. www.iafc.org
March 24-26 Montana Rural Water Systems 41st Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (Rescheduled: May 19-21) TBA mrws.org/conferences/ March 25-27 Mid-America Trucking Show (Rescheduled: Sept. 16-18, 2021 or March 24-26, 2022) Louisville, Ky. www.truckingshow.com March 27-March 31 MWEA and MO-AWWA Joint Annual Conference (Rescheduled: Aug. 8-11) Margaritaville, Osage Beach, Mo. https://awwa-mo.org/eventstraining/joint-conference.html March 28-31 Florida Water Resources Conference 2021 (Cancelled) Gaylord Palms Resort, Kissimmee, Fla. fwrc.org March 28-31 No-Dig Show Orlando, Fla. www.nodigshow.com March 30-April 1 PowerGen International (Rescheduled Jan. 26-28, 2022 — Dallas, Texas) Orlando, Fla. www.powergen.com March 30-April 2 Wisconsin Rural Water Association Annual Conference (Rescheduled: Aug. 31-Sept. 3) La Crosse, Wis. www.wrwa.org
To list your upcoming conference or seminar in The Municipal at no charge, call (800) 733-4111, ext. 2307, or email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. 56 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
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News & Notes NTEA forms Fleet Advisory Council FARMINGTON HILLS, MICH. — NTEA announced the formation of the Fleet Advisory Council, composed of innovative and forwardthinking fleet leaders, who will provide perspective and guidance on association resources for the work truck community. The council will offer insights on how the association’s current efforts to support educational programing; vehicle optimization and design; regulatory compliance; risk management; alternative fuels; and electrification and technology applications are resonating with industry fleets. In preparing for future needs of fleet professionals, council members will help identify new areas of support aligned with NTEA’s technical and regulatory focus. Fleet Advisory Council members are: • Tony Orta (Chair), fleet operations manager, Southern California Gas • Dean Ainardi, assistant utilities fleet manager, Tacoma Public Utilities • S cott Bucciere, fleet operations manager, Davey Tree Expert Company • Jamie Cooke, chief operating officer, Department of General Services, Montgomery County, Md. • Robert Ellingsworth, fleet manager, Minnesota Department of Transportation • Tom Lattimore, statewide fleet operations and maintenance coordinator, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources • Jimmy Pang, engineering and development lead, Verizon Fleet Operations • Kelly Regan, fleet administrator, city of Columbus, Ohio • Kathy Wellik, director of fleet services, Iowa State University An early focus, and area of significant growth and constant evolution for NTEA, is educational programming. Fleet Advisory Council will assist in identifying topics for potential incorporation in NTEA’s events, publications, whitepapers, case studies and webinars. Find more information, including council member bios, at ntea. com/fleetadvisorycouncil.
Rubicon wins 2021 BIG Innovation Award NEW YORK, N.Y. — Rubicon announced it has been named a winner in the 2021 BIG Innovation Awards presented by the Business Intelligence Group. Rubicon is a software company that provides smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide. Using technology to drive environmental innovation, the company helps turn businesses into more sustainable enterprises, and neighborhoods into greener and smarter places to live and work. Organizations from across the globe submitted their innovations for consideration in the BIG Innovation Awards. Nominations were then judged by a select group of business leaders and executives who volunteer their time and expertise to evaluate submissions. Rubicon won in the “Organizations” category, with the impact of the company’s environmental innovation a key factor in its win. “I am thrilled that Rubicon has been named a 2021 BIG Innovation Award winner,” said Rubicon founder, chairman and CEO 60 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
Nate Morris. “This win is further proof that Rubicon’s mission to end waste and our market-leading software solutions are essential if we are to successfully address the most pressing issues of our time.” Rubicon is changing the entire waste and recycling industry by bringing transparency, data and analytics to a category that is ripe for innovation. The company also recently signed the Climate Pledge by Amazon and Global Optimism. Signatories of the Pledge commit to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the goal set out in the United Nations’ Paris Climate Agreement. “More than ever, the global society relies on innovation to help progress humanity and make our lives more productive, healthy and comfortable,” said Maria Jimenez, Chief Operating Officer of the Business Intelligence Group. “We are thrilled to be honoring Rubicon as they are one of the organizations leading this charge and helping humanity progress.”
NRPA to host hybrid 2021 NRPA annual conference in Nashville, Tenn. ASHBURN, VA. — Kristine Stratton, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association issued the following statement: “Nearly a year has passed since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic and, throughout that time, NRPA has remained steadfastly committed to the health, safety and professional growth of our members and all park and recreation professionals. “On the heels of a successful, first-ever virtual 2020 NRPA Annual Conference, we are excited to announce our intent to host the first-ever hybrid experience of the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference this fall in Nashville, Tenn. From Sept. 21-23, 2021, park and recreation professionals, champions and industry suppliers will have the opportunity to attend the conference in-person or virtually. “The safety of our staff and attendees is of the utmost importance to NRPA. We will follow all federal, state and local guidelines set for in-person gatherings as well as recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO. In-person attendees can anticipate daily health and wellness check points, physical distancing and face covering requirements as well as other health and safety protocols. “By offering a hybrid experience, NRPA looks forward to providing even more people with the opportunity to network with peers, learn from experts in the field, and connect with industry suppliers. The 2021 NRPA Annual Conference virtual and in-person options will offer attendance opportunities that meet personal and agency budget and travel preferences. We are dedicated to the same high-quality educational programming NRPA is known for — because everyone deserves a great conference! “If, at any time, NRPA feels we cannot create and maintain a safe in-person event or if any federal, state or local restrictions prevent us from hosting an in-person event, NRPA will cancel the in-person component while continuing to offer a quality virtual event.” For more information, visit the NRPA Annual Conference website: nrpa.org/conference.
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News & Notes NTEA announces Truck Equipment Electrical Basics online courses
continued from page 60
Cooper earned his Bachelor of Arts in globalization from Hampshire College and his Master of Science in regenerative studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where his thesis focused on municipal anaerobic digestion and composting. Cooper started a state-permitted composting facility in North Carolina and has spoken at numerous conferences and events around the country and virtually, having led sessions at WasteExpo, GreenBiz, Climate Week NYC, BioCycle, the Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show, the Waste Conversion Technology Conference & Trade Show and the U.S. Composting Council’s annual COMPOST event. He has written on the topic of composting and organics recycling for publications, including Sustainable Brands, Supermarket News, Waste Dive, Waste Advantage and the U.S. Composting Council. “I could not be prouder to welcome Ryan to the U.S. Composting Council Board of Directors,” said Frank Franciosi, executive director of the U.S. Composting Council. “I have known Ryan for over a decade now, and I look forward to serving with him in this capacity for many years to come.”
FARMINGTON HILLS, MICH. — NTEA launched Truck Equipment Electrical Basics, a new online course series developed in partnership with e-learning platform Electude. This new educational offering is designed to provide the work truck industry with fundamental understanding of electrical theory and concepts in automotive applications. With these courses, upfitters, engineers, fleet managers and technicians can increase functional knowledge of truck electrical systems and components, but not to the depth required to design systems and components. “We are excited to introduce the industry to our next online course — Truck Equipment Electrical Basics – Measurement, Safety and Fundamentals,” said David Ehrlich, NTEA director of education. “This is the first in a series focused on electrical basics that will utilize materials developed by our content partner, Electude. These learning modules utilize gamification principles and highly interactive resources that will create a great experience for learners.” Stertil-Koni salutes President Biden’s In the first course, participants will learn how to measure volt“American Rescue Plan” with $20 billion age, resistance and current, as well as safe practices for working earmarked to support the public transit sector with electricity and fundamentals of electrical theory. STEVENSVILLE, MD. — Heavy-duty vehicle lift leader Stertil-Koni “Electrical training has been a longtime need in the work truck announced it fully supports President Joe Biden’s recently proposed industry. Modern vehicle electrical architectures continue to “American Rescue Plan,” which would allocate $20 billion in relief for expand and evolve at a high rate, and an understanding of elecwhat the president termed “the hardest hit public transit agencies.” trical fundamentals is core to anyone involved in upfitting work According to the Biden administration, “Safe and dependtrucks,” said Steve Spata, NTEA technical assistance director. able public transit systems are critical for a robust and equitable “We’re very excited to partner with Electude to provide our memeconomy recovery.” The administration also stated that this relief bers with this kind of training in a virtual, hands-on environment “will keep agencies from laying off transit workers and cutting the that anyone can access.” routes that essential workers rely on every day…” The course is a free benefit to NTEA members and eligible for Also signaling its support was the American Public TransporMember Verification Program credit and Continuing Education tation Association, which, in a statement noted: “The American Units through our accreditation by International Association for Public Transportation Association, on behalf of the entire public Continuing Education and Training. Nonmembers can purchase transportation industry, applauds the incoming Biden adminfor $49. Learn more at ntea.com/electricalbasics. istration for recognizing the critical needs of our industry. The NTEA offers a variety of online education and training opporproposed emergency transit funding included in the American tunities free for NTEA members. Visit ntea.com/onlineeducation Rescue Plan is vital to the industry’s survival and will help prevent for details. massive labor cuts and drastic service reductions.” The APTA represents a $74 billion industry that directly employs 435,000 people Rubicon’s Ryan Cooper appointed to U.S. and supports millions of private sector jobs. Composting Council Board of Directors Concluded Stertil-Koni President Dr. Jean DellAmore, “A robust NEW YORK, N.Y. — Rubicon announced its Waste Diversion Manager and healthy public transportation system is fundamental to acceland Organics Recycling Lead Ryan Cooper has been appointed to the erating America’s return to a fully functioning, forward-looking U.S. Composting Council Board of Directors, effective immediately. economy — and that is why we are so supportive of this initiative. Cooper has been with Rubicon for over five years and is responAs the Biden administration has shown, public transit is indeed sible for designing, implementing and managing the company’s an essential industry that provides the American people with the organics recycling programs for small and large customers across ability to rapidly and efficiently travel to and from work, school, North America. shopping, cultural events, medical appointments and much more “I am honored to have been appointed to the U.S. Compostevery single day.” ing Council Board of Directors,” Cooper said. “The work that the council advances, namely that of organics recycling, compost manufacturing and compost utilization, is a passion of mine, and I look forward to continuing my staunch advocacy of the benefits of composting in this new role.”
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News & Notes
continued from page 62
Tunnel to Towers wraps up the 2020 Season of Hope and prepares to celebrate 20 years of DOING GOOD in 2021 STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — To celebrate New Year’s Eve, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation delivered the final mortgage payoff notice of its 2020 Season of Hope to the family of slain Pikeville Kentucky Patrolman Scotty Hamilton. Patrolman Hamilton was shot and killed in the line of duty on March 13, 2018. He served with the Pikeville Police Department for 12 years and left behind his wife, Chelsi, and their young daughter, Brynlee. Thanks to the support of donors around the country, the Tunnel to Towers 2020 Season of Hope delivered mortgage-free homes to: • 2 6 fallen first responder families. Gold Star families. •6 • 3 catastrophically injured veterans. • 1 catastrophically injured first responder. • A total of 36 homes in the 36 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. NYPD Detective Dalsh Veve, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after he was dragged several blocks by a car thief in Brooklyn on June 3, 2017, became the first person to receive a mortgage payoff as part of the foundation’s new program, which supports first responders who are catastrophically injured in the line of duty. 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. To celebrate two decades of DOING GOOD, Tunnel to Towers has set a goal to deliver 116 mortgagefree homes and host a series of NEVER FORGET events to inspire all Americans to come together in unity, 20 years after America was attacked on Sept. 11. This summer, Tunnel to Towers CEO Frank Siller will travel by foot from the Pentagon to Shanksville, Pa., and then on to NYC in an act of remembrance called the “NEVER FORGET Walk.” Over a period of 36 days, he will walk more than 500 miles through six states. This September, Tunnel to Towers is hosting a “NEVER FORGET Concert” in New York City, which will feature a soon-to-be-revealed lineup of music artists. On the final Sunday in September Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk NYC will return bigger than ever with a record-shattering number of participants retracing Stephen Siller’s final footsteps. “Our responsibility is that every Sept. 11, we make sure that we always remember and never forget the sacrifice that was made by brave men and women when America was attacked,” said Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO Frank Siller. Go to Tunnel2Towers.org to learn more. News releases regarding personnel changes, other non-productrelated company changes, association news and awards are printed as space allows. Priority will be given to advertisers and affiliates. Releases not printed in the magazine can be found online at www.themunicipal.com. Call (800) 733–4111, ext. 2307, or email email@example.com. 64 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
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Clean cities can help municipal leaders reach fleet sustainability goals
Sam Spofforth | Guest columnist Chief Executive Officer, Clean Fuels Ohio
cross America, many local governments are setting ambitious goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Even those without specific goals want to respond to concerned citizens by showing a willingness to take positive action. In turn, municipal leaders are asking public service directors and fleet administrators to transition fleets. Many ask, what are the lower carbon options? How viable are they — operationally and financially? What resources are available? In many communities, Clean Cities coalitions can be part of the solution. Clean Cities is a U.S. Department of Energy program focused on clean and sustainable transportation solutions. The DOE has designated over 80 coalitions. Some serve entire states and others cover metro areas. Coalitions can help municipal and other types of fleets on sustainability planning and implementation. They can connect fleet leaders to solution providers. Some can even help fleets track results and recognize progress toward carbon reduction and other important goals. Depending on the location, assistance also can include understanding available incentives and how to tap them. Even where
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incentives are not available, municipal leaders often are surprised with what can be done by leveraging lower total cost of ownership from cleaner solutions. Let’s take a look at some cleaner transportation solutions worth considering: Electric Vehicles: For light-duty fleet vehicles, EVs can be a great fit, offering significant net CO2 benefits and lifecycle cost savings. EVs offer environmental benefits even if fossil fuels are the primary source of electricity because they are about four times as energy efficient as internal combustion vehicles. They offer lifecycle cost benefits because they are so inexpensive to operate and maintain. EVs fit best in higher mileage applications — 6K to 8K per year or more. Their durability allows longer replacement cycles. Daily charging needs require careful planning in partnership with others. Light duty is the sweet spot today, but heavier vehicles are becoming available. Renewable Natural Gas: Compressed natural gas vehicles fit especially well into heavy-duty municipal operations — refuse and others. Vehicle technology and refueling is highly mature and reliable. Today, renewable natural gas from landfills and anaerobic digesters is readily available. Identical to fossil gas, suppliers integrate RNG into the gas pipeline system, then leverage the value of market-based federal policy to achieve cost parity with fossil gas. RNG offers net GHG benefits of 70% to over 100% compared with diesel. High volume use across one or several fleets is the key to achieving payback on higher initial vehicle costs, paying for refueling stations and maintenance facility upgrades. Renewable Propane Autogas: Propane autogas performs much like gasoline because it’s stored and dispensed as a liquid. The
LEFT: Electric vehicles are being favored for light-duty fleet operations, offering significant net CO2 benefits and lifecycle cost savings. Pictured are EVs charging near Jersey City, N.J., City Hall. (Mariusz Lopusiewicz/Shutterstock.com) RIGHT: Compressed natural gas vehicles fit well into heavy-duty municipal operations, and more refined technology means, renewable natural gas from landfills and anaerobic digesters is readily available. Pictured is a CNG-powered street sweeper operating for the Los Angeles, Calif., City Street Services. (Glenn Highcove/Shutterstock.com)
operational sweet spot is light to medium duty, including a variety of vehicle types up to class 7. Renewable forms are becoming more available in some markets and will continue to grow. These offer similar net GHG benefits compared with RNG. Vehicles are only slightly more expensive than diesel or gasoline vehicles. Fueling infrastructure is inexpensive and straightforward. All of this contributes to lower total cost of ownership in many applications. Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel: Biodiesel is produced from soy oil or similar renewable feedstocks and then blended with petroleum diesel — typically 20% bio and 80% petrol — for use. Renewable diesel is refined from these same feedstocks and can be used in pure form. Both are easy, “drop-in” replacements for straight petroleum diesel. Transition to biodiesel may require existing diesel tanks to be cleaned. Biodiesel also offers added lubricity and a higher cetane rating. So many fleets find it performs better. Biodiesel should be readily available everywhere, and typically at the same price as petroleum diesel. Renewable diesel availability is more limited, and cost varies by location. High Ethanol Blends: Flexible fuel vehicles are designed to use regular gasoline or a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, or E85. Some sedans, SUVs and pickups are FFVs. E85 is available in most markets from distributors and some retailers. Vehicle performance is identical, but E85 has a lower energy content. This means fleets need to make sure they are paying at least 20% less per gallon to maintain operating cost parity. E85 offers net GHG benefits compared with gasoline, but the specific amount depends on several factors. Efficiency Technologies: Examples of efficiency technologies are nearly endless. They include tire inflation maintenance, electrification of certain engine loads, battery management combined with anti-idling, axel placement and many others. Some solutions are available “after market,” and others can be specified for new vehicles. Net GHG benefits will be a function of the percentage of increased efficiency. Many solutions offer cost benefits within months, a few years or over the vehicle lifecycle. Hydrogen: Today, hydrogen is a viable option for select applications. Primary examples include forklifts and transit buses. These options are expected to widen in coming years. Ultimately, experts
E85 is available in most markets from distributors and some retailers, and it offers identical vehicle performance to regular gasoline but with a lower energy content. (Carolina K. Smith MD/Shutterstock.com)
believe that hydrogen may find its niche in heavy-duty, especially the long-haul trucking sector and certain urban and off-road sectors, while plug-in vehicles may fit best in light to medium and urban or low-speed heavy applications. The future will tell. Sorting out best fits for any municipal fleet and developing an actionable plan is challenging. Again, this is where Clean Cities comes in. Find a coalition near you by visiting cleancities.energy. gov/coalitions/locations/. If you don’t have one, contact the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities program directly at cleancities. energy.gov/contacts/. Embrace the journey and good luck! Sam Spofforth has served as executive director of Columbusbased Clean Fuels Ohio since the organization’s founding in 2002. He plays a leadership role within the Clean Cities network as well as in the advanced vehicle and fuels industry. Spofforth previously ran the Eastern Pennsylvania chapter of Clean Water Action and led a grassroots fundraising campaign for the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. He earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a Bachelor of Arts from Hiram College in Ohio.
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LockNClimb has designed ladder systems to serve the needs of work vehicle maintenance personnel in most all segments of the trucking industry including redi-mix, utility, solid waste, and dump trucks in addition to passenger buses. Web links to videos showing LockNClimb ladders in use are included in the descriptions below the photos. For more information and to save by buying direct from the manufacturer call (620) 577-2577 or visit www.truckingladders.com.
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MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 69
TOP 10 2021’s Best State to Retire Retirement — the earlier, the better — is the dream of many Americans; however, financial security can be a real concern, with WalletHub noting in its “2021’s Best States to Retire” article that 26% of non-retired adults have no money saved for retirement, though not necessarily through any fault of their own. Finding the where to retire can be just as important as the when. “Finding the best states to retire can be difficult without doing lots of research,” WalletHub financial writer Adam McCann writes. “Even in the most affordable areas of the U.S., most retirees cannot rely on Social Security or pension checks alone to cover all of their living expenses. Social Security benefits increase with local inflation, but they replace only about 39% of the average worker’s earnings.”
To uncover the most retirement-friendly states, WalletHub compared the 50 states across three key dimensions: affordability, quality of life and health care. Within those dimensions were 45 relevant metrics, which carried different weights. Some of these metrics include general tax-friendliness, annual cost of in-home services, adjusted cost of living, share of population aged 65 and older, risk of social isolation, shoreline mileage, golf courses per capita, family medicine physicians per capita, dentists per capita, among others. Florida ranked No. 1 overall with a score of 61.09. Across the three dimensions, it was fourth in affordability, sixth in quality of life and 28th in health care.
Total Score Affordability Quality of Life Health Care
5. North Dakota
10. New Hampshire 56.29
Source: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-to-retire/18592 70 THE MUNICIPAL | MARCH 2021
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Advertiser Index A
Agile Fleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover, 10-11
KM International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Air Netix LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 All Access Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Alumitank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 American Shoring Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
L Land Pride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Lock N Climb LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Andy Mohr Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Mean Green Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
BendPak Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Midwest Sandbags LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Bonnell Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Midwest Tractor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Brightspan Building Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 38
Monroe Truck Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Buyers Products Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
C CBI Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 CleanFix North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 CTech Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Clearspan Fabric Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Curbtender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
N National Construction Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
O Optimus Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
P Precision Concrete Cutting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Curtis Industries, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
E Electromark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
F FCAR Tech USA, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Fluid Control Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
G Global Environmental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
R Rapid View LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BACK
T Tafco Equipment Company | Scott Truck Bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Track Star International Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Trinity Highway Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
U Uline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Greystone Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Unique Paving Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
GVM Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Utility Truck Equipment Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Godwin Group, The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Versalift East, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Henderson Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
VMAC Air Innovated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
This index is provided courtesy of the publisher, who assumes no liability for errors or omissions. MARCH 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 73
SALTDOGG MUNICIPAL MDS ®
SPREADS? CHECK. HAULS? CHECK. DUMPS? CHECK.
For Class 8 Trucks
Pictured: 10 Foot MDS Municipal Dump Spreader with Dual Auger (934103648), Folding Ladder (9391000), 30 Gallon Central Hydraulic System (6383060), Pre-Wet Kit (LS11H), Electric Tarp System (9331213)
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