Purchase to help winter street care

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By Nancy D. Borst
The Times-Sentinel

GODDARD – The Goddard City Council worked its way through a brief agenda Monday evening that included the purchase of a new salt brine system to treat streets during winter weather.
Salt brine – a mixture of salt and water – is applied ahead of winter storms to reduce ice buildup. In an average year, city public works employees produce and spray more than 20,000 gallons of brine over several hundred miles of city streets. With several new subdivisions being built, the city’s street miles will increase.
The city’s current brine generator was purchased approximately six years ago and already had been used by another governmental agency. It requires significant repairs to keep it operational and it leaks brine and water. The city’s current storage system for the brine uses chemical totes that also are in poor condition.
The council approved purchase of a new Accubatch Brine Maker and a 10,000-gallon storage tank. The Accubatch is a semi-automatic system that includes automatic salinity control. Public works director Brooke Brandenburg called it a “plug and play” system that does not require any special training or certifications to operate. This system will be able to produce 800 gallons of brine solution in 20 minutes.
It also has a smaller footprint, making it easier to store. Brandenburg said the 10,000-gallon storage tank would allow city crews to always have adequate brine on hand. That amount of brine could spray the entire city 1.5 to 2 times, he said.
The new system, storage tank and a brine transfer pump will cost $39,000, with the expense being paid out of the city’s equipment reserve fund.
In other business, the council:
• Approved an engineering service agreement with the developer for infrastructure improvements to the new Rustic Creek subdivision at a cost of $187,660. The agreement will be financed with temporary notes, to be followed by special assessments of the property owners.
• Received and filed second quarter reports from administration, the police department, the Goddard Public Library, public works and finance. All reports reflected atypical numbers due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. City hall now has a mask mandate if social distancing is not possible. However, only one council member wore a mask during the meeting.