July 22, 2014 | 11:21 AMGENOA CITY — Three snow plow trucks, three pickups, a street sweeper, a front-end loader, a brush truck, a wood chipper, a jetting machine and three riding lawnmowers.
Two garages house these pieces of equipment — and more — for the village’s public works department on First Street.
“We’re just so cramped,” said public works superintendent Todd Schiller.
But on July 10, the Genoa City Village Board approved a $75,250 bid from Gill Bank, Clinton, to build a 42-feet-by-60-feet, three-bay, metal pole barn. According to bid specifications, the building itself costs $62,550. The three overhead doors cost a total of $12,700.
The new building will go up on the northern corner of the lot, which is between two rows of pine trees and flanked on one side by two public works buildings.
It will be the new home for the three village plow trucks and will have its own driveway onto First Street. Schiller said there is a lot of activity on the public works property, which doesn’t just house public works vehicles and equipment.
There are eight buildings off First Street, including the village’s wastewater treatment plant and clarifiers. A three-bay garage building, similar to what Schiller said should be up “before the snow flies,” was built in 2002.
That was the last time anything was built on the property.
Schiller described the space constraints they have to work with.
He said they’re especially jam-packed in the fall.
Winters — when the plow blades are installed on the trucks — also make for a tight squeeze in the garage. Schiller pointed out some of the marks on the sides of the garage bay doors to prove it.
“When we get the front plows on these trucks, and the wings (side plows), they’re just so big,” said Schiller.
He said he’s a stickler about not keeping the department’s equipment outside. “The village and the taxpayers pay pretty good money for this equipment.”
But it’s a tight squeeze — about 3 inches of clearance on each side of the plow trucks.
“When a driver has to back it in the garage after a night of plowing snow … sooner or later, you’re going to ding it,” said Schiller.
The new building also will help facilitate future equipment.
“We’re hoping to get a bucket truck,” he said. “We just have so much use for it, with the trees and changing street light bulbs. … This will help us out like heck.”
For about two years, officials have been working on making this building a reality.
Last fall, the village solicited bids for the project, but nothing came back.
“I think the problem was it was too late in the season,” he said.
Village President Bill Antti said they received just one bid this time around.
He said the inside work may not be done right away, but Schiller said a lot of that — including the heating and electrical work — will be done in-house, to save money.
Schiller thinks the building will help the department quite a while.
“It will take some of the load off and give us room, so that we’re not banging into each other.”