Camden Town Council voted to authorize the Town Manager Aaron Chaffinch to pursue a snowplowing contract with the Camden-Wyoming Sewer & Water Authority after discussing in detail the parameters of the deal, worth up to $5,000.
Chaffinch recommended forging Camden's snow plowing ties to CWSWA at Camden Town Council's meeting held Monday night because the authority had the equipment and manpower to supplement the two trucks and one qualified driver Camden had to plow snow.
Councilman John Green preferred to table the vote because he felt said the documentation provided by the Camden-Wyoming Sewer & Water Authority did not state that the rates it gave were specifically for snow plowing. Green also had concerns with overtime costs and insurance liabilities.
But Mayor W.G. Edmanson said he was confident that the rates provided were in response to his specific request for snow plowing rates. Therefore, Edmanson pushed for a vote at Camden Town Council's meeting held Monday night because it was already the beginning of December, when anything could happen weather-wise.
As Chaffinch put it, the time to hire snow plow contractors was now, not when the forecasters called for a big snowstorm in Kent County.
Vice Mayor Justin King said the rates offered by the Camden-Wyoming Sewer & Water Authority were "a steal" based on his experience as owner of Kent Landscaping. King had experience snow plowing himself as well as hiring contractors to perform the labor.
"You will not find anything cheaper that this," King said.
King mentioned the $21.50 per hour for laborers, $28 per hour for truck drivers and $32 per hour for a foreman.
Dover Police Chief William Bryson said those rates were better than what the town had paid in the recent past.
King said it was just important to ensure that the contract specified that these rates were indeed for snow plowing so that there were no surprises. He doubted that Camden could find better rates, adding that $28 was still well below the average rate.
"The problem we're facing is that we have one employee to plow the town of Camden," King said. "He can only do so much for so long and then it stops. We have a town employee that we can't allow to work for three days in a row.
"We have to rely on another company, regardless of whether we like it or not," he added. "The only other option is to hire our own people and purchase our own equipment and say we're going to plow snow. That's the only other option and, to me, that's not realistic. We don't need the extra employees or equipment."
However, King initially thought overtime costs should fall upon the contractor and not the town.
In response, Councilman Larry L. Dougherty Sr. said it would be cheaper in the long run for the town to pay overtime so that CWSWA did not increase its standard rate.
Council ended up voting 4-1 to authorize Chaffinch to pursue a snow plowing contract with CWSWA. Green voted no.