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North Versailles Township receives fully loaded street sweeper

| Thursday, July 24, 2014, 4:06 a.m.
Eric Slagle | Trib Total Media
North Versailles street department foreman James Bivins takes the municipality’s new $189,000 Elgin Pelican street sweeper for a test spin. The vehicle arrived on Monday and replaces a 20-year-old model.
Eric Slagle | Trib Total Media
North Versailles street department foreman James Bivins, left, explains features of the township’s new Elgin Pelican street sweeper to commissioner Sam Juliano.
Eric Slagle | Trib Total Media
North Versailles commissioner Sam Juliano gives street department foreman James Bivins keys to the township’s new Elgin Pelican street sweeper, which arrived on Monday.

With air conditioning, power steering, side and rear view cameras and a stereo, the new machine arrived fully loaded.

But the vehicle in this case isn't a luxury car but rather an Elgin Pelican street sweeper.

North Versailles Township took possession of the new piece of heavy equipment earlier this week. The diesel powered broom sweeper replaces an old street sweeper that was about 20 years old.

“It drives a lot nicer than the old one,” said street department foreman James Bivins, one of several township employees who will operate and maintain the new machine. “It's a smoother ride and a lot easier to work on.”

Bivins said the new sweeper will operate five days a week in the peak seasons of spring and fall and has the capability to pick up dirt, leaves and other debris.

The machine is built to be maneuverable on tight residential roads and has side and rear view cameras that make it easy to operate, Bivins explained.

The sweeper cost about $189,000 and was financed through a five-year loan from Kansas State Bank. The interest rate for the loan is 2.64 percent.

Township councilman Sam Juliano said the new investment is all about getting “the right tool for the job.”

Juliano said he and council president George Thompson are familiar with the new street sweeper because of their employment with Allegheny County Public Works Department. He said county street sweepers typically are designed for highway use and are not as maneuverable as ones used by municipalities, where runs have a lot of turns and cornering.

“We got the proper machine for the job,” Juliano assured.

The township received a $5,000 trade on its old sweeper. Juliano said the township initially put the old machine out for bid but didn't receive any offers greater than the trade-in value.

The new sweeper has a 1.5 ton hopper for storing collected dirt and debris.

The machine is equipped with a nozzle that can spray water on the road surface to reduce dust when conditions are especially dry.

Bivins said the sweeper will see heavy use in the fall when it is used for leaf collection.

He said collected autumn leaves are dumped at the township's compost facility at Crestas ball field. Bivins said composted leaves are free to township residents.

The new machine is outfitted with lighting to permit night sweeping.

Juliano said the township does all of its sweeping during the day but now crews would be able to operate after dark if the situation merited it.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or