Yukon rents tub grinder for storm debris

Council also OKs buying new generators for city buildings

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Contractor and City of Yukon crews are collecting a copious quantity of storm debris from local neighborhoods. The piles of broken tree limbs will be mulched using a large tub grinder the city has rented from Thunder Contracting. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

Facing mountains of ice storm debris, the City of Yukon is borrowing a large piece of equipment to chop it all up.

The Yukon City Council, at its Nov. 17th meeting, approved renting a tub grinder from Thunder Contracting. The equipment will be used to grind up and mulch the large piles of broken tree limbs and other debris collected since the surprise late October storm.

Yukon Public Works Director Arnold Adams

At the recommendation of Yukon Public Works Director Arnold Adams, the city council agreed to rent the grinder from Thunder Contracting.

The horizontal grinder will be used to dispose all the tree limbs accumulating at Yukon’s temporarily storm debris disposal site near the southwest corner of Highway 66 and Frisco Road.

“We estimate there will be no more than 125,000 cubic yards when we are finished,” Adams advised city council members.

The City of Yukon is renting the tub grinder from Thunder Contracting at a rate of $1.45 per cubic yard, so the total cost won’t exceed $181,250.

Thunder Contracting had the lowest quoted price among three companies contacted. Others were Smithey Environmental ($1.50 per cubic yard) and Arbor Masters ($2.85 per cubic yard).

Arbor Masters is the contractor the City of Yukon hired to help pick up storm debris left curbside by residents in local neighborhoods.

The city council waived competitive bidding to rent the tub grinder, as allowed in Yukon’s Nov. 3rd disaster declaration.

Assistant City Manager Tammy Kretchmar told council members Nov. 17 that the contractor and city crews had already collected 47,464 cubic yards of storm debris.

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TIME TO POWER UP

Damages to electrical lines, poles and related equipment from the ice storm caused widespread electrical power outages across Yukon.

To prepare for future emergencies, the Yukon City Council voted 4-1 to purchase two trailer-mounted generators to power Yukon City Hall, 500 W Main; and part of the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore.

The generators are portable and could be used in other places.

The City of Yukon is paying $179,846.40 to Central Power Systems & Services for two 150 KW Doosan model, diesel-fueled generators designed to last 20-25 years.

“With the recent ice storm that took place on October 26, 2020, our current equipment will not be able to power either of the facilities that are essential to our City operations during any storm event,” Yukon Public Works Director Adams wrote in a memo to the council.

Ward 4 Council Member Aric Gilliland voted against buying the new generators after asking about the cost of renting instead and how often Yukon needed them.

Yukon Development Services Director Mitchell Hort

Yukon Development Services Director Mitchell Hort noted the high price of renting generators, which are often difficult to procure after a mass power outage.

The City of Yukon has had two extended power outages this year after one last year, Hort told the council.

Mayor Shelli Selby pointed out that Yukon Mobile Meals was unable to serve clients during the week of the ice storm because the Dale Robertson Center kitchen was without electricity.

In a related item, the city council approved a $900,000 fiscal year 2021 budget increase to cover storm-related costs, specifically disaster recovery, debris removal and future emergency preparedness.

Once Yukon has been declared a “disaster area” by the federal government, the city will be eligible for an 87.5% reimbursement.