The Limerick Township, Pa., public works department is not your average public works department, according to Bill Bradford, superintendent of roads.
“We are very diversified,” Bradford said. “We do as much work as we can in house. In other words, we are a construction company. We do pipe work, we do bridge work, we build culverts, we build roads, we build buildings, we do site work, we build ball fields and parks — everything.”
To help accomplish all those tasks the township relies on Eagle Power & Equipment to supply it with the necessary equipment.
Limerick’s most recent purchase was a Case 621FXR wheel loader.
“We have some major roadwork, which includes some storm sewer, sewer work and water main, where that will be utilized very heavily. It’s basically our salt machine for the wintertime — it loads all of our trucks. It is used at our yards for loading and unloading for stone and so forth for most of the jobs and it is used on the job itself.”
An annual operating budget of $2.3 million and the right employees are what enables the township to do so much work in house, according to Bradford.
“We have a liquid fuels fund that comes in from the gas tax, which allows us to do certain things. We take that liquid fuels money for major highway projects. That goes right into the street.
“We [also] believe in hiring skilled technicians. We have operators, we have truck drivers, we have welders, we have our own fleet mechanic. We are not just hiring off the street; we are hiring very skilled people for this position. We have concrete workers, and that allows us to go ahead and do this kind of work. We run a great budget here. That’s part of the reason, too. Our tax base is very good. That’s what allows us to hire the skilled workers. When you can do things without hiring at prevailing wage rates and paying contractors the overhead, it really saves taxpayers a lot of money.”
The township averages four to five major projects a year, in addition to annual paving, according to Bradford. The parks department, which also is under Bradford’s jurisdiction, tends to the three major parks, including the ball fields and lacrosse fields. A full-time fleet mechanic is responsible for keeping all the equipment up and running.
The township operates under a capital purchasing program, which is money set aside for each piece of equipment it has.
“We try to trade or sell from the highway department one or two [machines] a year as well as one or two in the parks department a year to keep our equipment up to date. I believe our lowest piece of equipment is a 2006 or 2007. If we can keep those trucks running strong, get rid of them with a higher number of resale and bring in a new truck for less money, that’s what we try to do.”
The department’s relationship with its dealer is more that two decades running.
“I have been [working] with Eagle Power since I’ve been here. For 23 years we have dealt with Eagle Power from the salesmen on up. They have been top-notch. They are there when I need them. Their service tech is here when I need them. Their sales are here when I need them. They are very good to us,” Bradford said.
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