Farragut Public Works director Bud McKelvey is all about saving money.
After saving Farragut a little more than $65,000 in 2019 by overseeing masonry repair along North Campbell Station Road’s “wall,” McKelvey fostered a recent plan to save the Town about four times that amount — more than $240,000 — over the next decade with the purchase of its first street sweeper.
Previously, the Town had contracted street sweeping with an outside party, at a cost of about $23,000 annually, McKelvey said.
“But then, that operator retired, and when we bid it out this year, the cost almost doubled, to $43,000 annually,” he added.
After asking other municipalities how they handled street sweeping, and discovering that most already provided their own services, McKelvey researched and contrasted the cost of a new street sweeper versus continuing to contract with an outside service.
He presented a study to Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen during its Thursday, June 23, meeting showing the costs over a 10-year period of $306,530 — even factoring in the street sweeper purchase, maintenance, operator and fuel expenses — versus an estimated $547,219 if continuing to contract the service during the same time frame.
McKelvey also asked BOMA to reject the lone street sweeping bid received from Sweeping Corp. of America earlier this year, and approve purchase of a Tymco 435 Regenerative Air Sweeper for $196,730 as of July 1, putting it in the 2022-23 fiscal year budget.
BOMA unanimously approved both requests, and the sweeper has been delivered according to McKelvey.
“We always look for opportunities to improve our level of service while saving money where we can,” Town administrator David Smoak said. “... Bud identified that purchasing the street sweeper would actually save the Town tremendously over continuing with a contract with an outside vendor.”
The street sweeper is the most expensive piece of equipment ever purchased by the Town, according to officials.