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No takers, so patcher put back to work

February 27, 2012
Salem News

LISBON - A pothole-patching machine Village Council ordered sold last October is back in use after there were no takers for the $62,000 DuraPatcher.

Councilman Joe Morenz said it is his understanding new Street Superintendent Jim Oliver decided he wanted to give the DuraPatcher another try, and he supports the decision.

"Whether it's good or bad, there's no point in having it just sitting around," Morenz said.

Council voted in the spring of 2010 to purchase the DuraPatcher, a portable blacktop machine, as a cost-efficient alternative for patching potholes. The blacktop comes out hot, which means it will last longer than the blacktop that is trucked in by village employees from plants in Canton or Youngstown. The machine was also expected to save time and money since the DuraPatcher can fill a pothole of any shape or size without any lengthy preparation other than blowing the pothole clean of debris.

The DuraPatcher quickly fell out of favor among most council members, which coincided with the decision to fire the former street superintendent and promote Oliver. They voted to sell the machine in October but have yet to receive any serious offers.

Morenz was the lone vote against selling the DuraPatcher because he did not believe the machine had been given a fair test. He said the DuraPatcher works when operated properly, and he attributed the past problems to inadequate training.

As a result, Morenz suggested before the street department resume operating the DuraPatcher the workers undergo another training session. A representative from the company that sold the DuraPatcher spent a day in Lisbon and this time he trained every street department worker in how to operate the machine, not just the superintendent.

The DuraPatcher was then put to work patching potholes.

Morenz does not know where this leaves the village's efforts to sell the DuraPatcher, but favors keeping the machine now that it appears the workers are operating it properly and it is doing the job originally intended.

"This thing takes way less labor and time to use ... I can't speak for other people, but I still think it's the way to go," he said.



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