Port Arthur aim: Restore depleted equipment fleet

Published 4:56 pm Friday, March 30, 2018

Rebecca Underhill, assistant to the city manager/budget officer, reported last month the cost of the total damage to the equipment fleet from Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey is $24.8 million.

To date, $4.9 million has been spent to replace damaged vehicles and equipment. The total equipment purchases authorized to date is $6.78 million. The insurance received to date related to equipment and vehicles is $1.3 million. It is actual cash value, not replacement cost.

The potential additional funding necessary to replace all damaged equipment could exceed $15 million.

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Consequently, Kevin Christopher, with fleet maintenance, put the figure currently at $26 million. He said a fleet restoration program was implemented Jan. 23. As of March 16, 71 percent of equipment was repaired and is now in service, 29 percent is waiting on an insurance assessment, 55 percent of the fleet is currently in service while 16 percent is in repair and $2.3 million is waiting for reimbursement.


Areas of concern


The key areas of concern about the flooded fleet are drainage, streets, parks, solid waste and utilities:

  • Drainage — A total of $2.8 million was reported, $1.5 million in service and down $1.4 million. Three of the sweepers valued at $180,000 are still in repair.
  • Streets — A total of $2.9 million was reported, $1.9 million in-service and down $1.12 million. Two water trucks and one asphalt mixer prior to Harvey are needed.
  • Parks — A total of $829,000 was reported, $572,000 in-service and down $257,000. Two tractors and four crew trucks are needed.
  • Solid waste — A total of $7.4 million was reported, $2.3 million in-service and down $4.4 million. Ten trash trucks with an average cost of $121,000 (four new, four used), 11 garbage trucks with an average cost of $270,000 (nine new) and seven container trucks with an average cost of $252,000 are needed.
  • Utilities — A total of $1.7 million was reported. $1.2 million in-service and down $536,000. Dump trucks, crew trucks and vactor (sewer cleaner) are needed.


Restore, repair, maintain


The department’s three-phase plan is to restore vehicles and equipment to pre-Harvey condition, make necessary repairs that existed prior to Harvey and implement a comprehensive and effective preventive maintenance program necessary to provide a safe and dependable vehicle or machine to the employees.

The asphalt zipper used for street construction is working, but it needs another controller. Obtaining water trucks for streets is “touch and go,” Christopher said. There’s a dealer in Houston that sells them or they can be rented from Sunbelt Rentals.