Curbco retained to plow residential streets

FLINT TWP. — The township board will exercise an option to extend a snowplowing contract with Curbco Inc. of Swartz Creek for one additional year.

In a joint agreement with the Genesee County Road Commission, the township signed up for a pilot program in 2010 to contract with a private company for snow removal in subdivisions and industrial parks during severe winter weather.

The contract is designed to reduce response time to clear roads after a snowfall of five or more inches which in the past might take the road commission crews several days to remedy.

Curbco was selected to provide the service and has received wide praise for its performance in the winter of 2010-11. But its services were not needed during the extremely mild winter of 2011-12.

The pilot project ran from December 1, 2010 to May 1 2012 with an option to be extended from Dec. 1, 2012 to May 3 of 2013, if all parties agreed.

The contract’s annual budget was $55,000 which breaks down to $11,000 per plow for up five plows in a season. That cost is split 50/50 between the township and road commission. The township’s share is paid from its Road Millage Fund and the road commission reimbursing the township for its half.

The contract further allows that the budgeted snowplowing funds be applied to other street services if not used during the winter.

Due to a limited snowfall last winter, none of the $55,000 budget was spent and therefore available to be reallocated for extensive drainage repairs on Gilbert Street. Curbco was contracted to do that job.

Miller informed the board that the township’s Road Advisory Committee had unanimously recommended exercising the thirdyear option of the snowplowing contract.

But the township board’s approval was not unanimous. Trustees Belenda Parker and Barb Vert voted no in the 3-2 decision for which Miller, Clerk Kim Courts and trustee Frank Kasle voted favorably. Trustee George Menoutes and treasurer Sandra Wright were absent.

Parker objected to the lack of a competitive bidding process and also having to pay up front for services rendered, she said.

Miller said the township had no control over the vendor chosen by the road commission which was not done through competitive bidding because it is a pilot program. That would likely change if the plowing program eventually is made permanent, she said.

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