STANFORD — Officials say construction vehicles purchased with leftover grant money have the potential to save the Stanford Water Department tens of thousands of dollars every year in contracting costs.
Stanford Water Department Manager Ryan Owens said a mini-excavator and dump truck the city acquired in September allow city employees to repair broken water lines and conduct other jobs like adding tie-outs and boring into roads without calling in a third-party contractor.
Ryan and three water department employees were using the equipment as recently as Thursday, when they repaired a broken water line on Cut Off Street in downtown Stanford.
The department was alerted to the break after someone reported water rising up into the road from the ground. Employees used the mini-excavator to unearth the broken water line, then filled in the hole using the dump truck after repairs had been made.
One house was without water until the repairs were completed. The whole process took less than three hours.
Owens said had the department contracted the job out, it would have been an extra hour before the contractor even arrived to begin working. And the city would have had to pay several water department employees to be on-site and help, anyway, he added.
The Cut Off Street job could have cost $2,500-$3,000 if it had been contracted out, Owens estimated. Instead, it cost just "a couple hundred dollars."
"That's a huge savings," he said.
The mini-excavator and dump truck were purchased with $93,500 of leftover grant money that the city didn't need to finish its recent $7 million upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant.
"We didn't have to borrow any money," Owens said. "It's paid for."
In addition, leftover grant money was used to purchase a small front-end loader.
Prior to purchasing the equipment, Owens said the department was spending $120,000-$125,000 annually on jobs that were contracted out.
Now, the department may not need to contract out any jobs.