Olney City Council approved at its regular meeting Monday spending approximately $20,000 for an asphalt recycling hot patcher.
As discussed at the last city council meeting in September, the piece of equipment will be used to get asphalt from Lawrenceville, bring it back to Olney and apply it to asphalt streets for repairs instead of using concrete or cold patch.
Street Department Supervisor Marty Nuss said he has used such a piece of equipment for a couple of years.
"It's the right tool for the right job," he said.
The machine is a used 2009 4-ton model, but Nuss said it is refurbished and comes with a warranty. Taylor said a new model could cost $25,000 or more.
He said using asphalt instead of concrete to repair asphalt streets should make for smoother driving because concrete and asphalt expand at different rates.
Nuss said the city would generally buy new asphalt material for the machine, but he said that approximately half of the city's current asphalt could be recycled.
The machine will come with propane and electrical heating sources to melt asphalt material that would be loaded into it. There are back doors that would allow for manual removal of the material when it is ready for patching. He said it also comes with a dumping mechanism that will allow the material to be moved closer to the doors for easier access.
Asked by an audience member when it would pay for itself, Nuss said this would depend on how much the city used it.
Councilman Gary Foster mentioned the rash of water-main breaks the city had last summer, which Taylor said for a period averaged about one a day, and said the machine could have been used in a situation like this.
Foster said he thinks the street department is in need of equipment so that it can do a job right the first time.
Foster said that now the city is doing a lot of work two or three times.
"Maybe we can get our streets back in some kind of shape in the not-too-distant future," he said.
Taylor proposed taking $8,000 from a line item the city budgeted for stone purchases and $12,000 from a line item for a Locust Street sewer-extension project.
Using this money would leave $15,000 in the stone line item and $6,000 in the Locust Street project line item.
Councilman Brad Brown asked Taylor if he was sure the city could take this much from the line items, noting that it seemed like a lot.
Taylor said it did seem that way. But, he said that in the stone line item, for example, the city has yet to spend any money on stone so far this year, so he thought it was reasonable that the city could manage the $8,000 that would be taken from it.
Regarding the Locust Street project, Nuss said there is enough leftover pipe on hand, some of which is from the Musgrove Park Baseball Complex project, to be able to cut material costs. He said the project is set to begin on Wednesday.
The council voted unanimously to buy the asphalt recycler from Pavement Technologies International Corp., of Albany, N.Y., at a cost of $19,950.