BANGOR — Doesn’t all that ice on the streets just frost ya? Well, it bothers city councilors, too. Those on the finance committee told City Engineer James Ring Tuesday evening to go ahead and order an “Ice Buster,” a grader attachment that will break up ice on the streets without destroying the pavement.
Councilors Michael Crowley, James Tyler and Timothy Woodcock watched attentively as Ring showed a brief video on how the attachment works. The long row of star wheels, each with several nubbly spokes, breaks up the ice so that it can then be graded off the street.
Portland has used one for two years, now, Ring said, and is very pleased with it.
The committee approved the purchase of the Ice Buster at a price of $15,500, installed, from Howard P. Fairfield Co.
It will probably be two to four weeks before the attachment arrives, explained Motor Pool Director Randy Mace, but the city will try to get it as quickly as possible.
Even if the current ice on the streets has been taken care of by then, Ring said, there will probably be more.
The committee also authorized Purchasing Agent David Pellegrino to order 500 tons of salt, and to acquire more if need be at the best price he can get. The city has already used 3,000 tons of salt this season — the amount that usually carries Bangor through an entire winter.
Cleanup of tree limbs and debris from the ice storm continues, Pellegrino said, and the city is using six outside contractors who have pulp loaders with cherry-picker attachments.
Ring said the pile of debris collected so far from the storm is equal to what the city gathered during last year’s spring cleanup. He added the city hoped to receive a reimbursement of 75 percent of those costs — $50 an hour per truck — from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Downed trees and debris prevented public works crews from clearing the roads as well as they would have liked during the storm, Ring said, so now many roads have been narrowed by some fairly solid snow and ice.
Front-end loaders and other equipment are being used to clean some areas, he said.