Mar 072012

By Naomi Hatch —

The Town of Snowflake’s new $67,000 pothole repair machine was spotlighted following a Feb. 28 work session. Public Works Director Terry Cooper had the machine on hand for council members to see.

At the work session Cooper made a PowerPoint presentation explaining the agreement the town has with the City of Show Low, under which Snowflake pays the $800 delivery charge, and Show Low pays for the tank and electricity to store the oil.

Cooper explained that the oil must be kept warm. In response to a question posed by Mayor Kelly Willis, Cooper said that the trade was comparable.

The presentation included a video showing the process. It took approximately 6½ minutes for two employees to blow the dirt out of a pothole, lay oil, fill the pothole with a mixture of chips and oil, and then put dry rock on top. When the process is completed, the road is open for traffic.

“Granted, this isn’t the ultimate fix,” said Cooper, who provided photos of potholes that had been filled approximately a year ago and were still in good shape.

Cooper presented a cost comparison stating that three weeks ago they covered more than 5,400 square feet, using approximately 650 gallons of asphalt and approximately 30 to 35 yards of chips for a total cost of $1,800 and 80 manhours for two employees.

A 2” asphalt patch would take approximately 70 tons of asphalt at a cost of $4,725 and an estimated 224 manhours because it would require saw cuts, removal and replacement.

The Hatch Patch that they used in the past would take approximately 67.5 tons of hot mix and would cost approximately $3,326 with similar time involved, but the material is less effective.

“Our biggest problem is you can’t run it enough, right?” asked Mayor Willis.

“Right,” said Cooper. “Obviously we haven’t hit them all (potholes), it’s going to take some time.”

In other business, Town Engineer Rob Emmett presented a PowerPoint presentation on streets and their maintenance. The street acceptance procedures were reviewed and a draft of the street acceptance policy for public maintenance was provided.

Emmett said that 50 percent of the roads in Snowflake are in poor or very poor condition, and he was looking for direction, especially regarding courtesy blading of dirt roads that are not Snowflake roads.

Town staff members were asked to work on the issue, including creating a packet that would be given to property owners who want their street accepted by the town.