Saskatoon’s downtown might be a bit cleaner this summer – and at a cheaper cost to taxpayers.
The city is providing the Downtown Saskatoon Business Improvement District (BID) with a brand new sidewalk and bike lane sweeper to operate from June until winter.
“This machine will save our guys a lot of time and effort,” said Gordie Ouellette, the operations manager for the Downtown BID.
“Our guy was out there this morning and probably saved himself six or seven hours of sweeping.”
The partnership is part of a pilot project in the downtown, handing over responsibility for catch basins, gutters and bike lanes to the BID.
The Downtown BID was already responsible for cleaning sidewalks in their district, but did so with brooms before acquiring the new sweeper.
— Chris Vandenbreekel (@Vandecision) May 30, 2017
Once the fall season wraps up, the city will review how the program went and determine whether it should supply sweepers to other BIDs.
“I expect we’ll see really good value,” said Brandon Harried, director of roadways and operations.
Harris noted the city expects to save $20,000 through the pilot.
The city is leasing the new Micro Air Street Sweeper for one year. The unit uses water and two spinning brushes to clean up debris in tight spaces, including sidewalks and bike lanes.
If administration ends up purchasing the technology, it would come at a $125,000 pricetag.
Harris said he couldn’t say whether they would buy any units long-term, noting budget approval is up to city council.
However, he said he does think people will notice a difference in the downtown.
“I expect to see a pretty significant difference in the cleanliness level.”