Street sweeper to be ordered but alerting residents not clear

A new street sweeper machine is about to be ordered, with final approval possible Thursday night.

But while the new machine, costing about $300,000, can be ordered from a Harrisburg supplier, a plan may have to be created to alert those who park on the streets whenever the sweeper is doing its job.

“Old Dusty,” is a 12-year-old machine — which kicks up dust and isn’t effective any longer, said William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director and River Valley Transit general manager.

Adam Winder, general manager of city Streets and Parks Department, looked for the best unit at the best price and found one in Harrisburg, he said.

The finance committee discussed how best to keep the city streets clean of dust and grime.

It makes no sense to have the sweeper rolling down the middle of the street when it is suppose to sweep up dust and dirt on the side near the curb, said Councilwoman Bonnie Katz.

If the operator can’t do that, it is a waste of time and money, she said.

The plan may require what has been done in places such as Brooklyn, New York.

In that borough of the city, there are times when the street machine is sweeping and residents either move their cars to the opposite side of the street or they have them towed, said Councilwoman Liz Miele, chairwoman of council’s finance committee.

While that isn’t the desired method here, Miele and others believe it is plausible to prepare a schedule for residents, alerting them ahead of time when the sweeper will be operating, and giving people time to get their vehicles off the streets.