When analyzing the cost of Baldwin’s roads its easy to get caught up in the expensive fixes, such as bituminous overlay and crack sealing. During the development of its capital improvement plan, the township spent a lot of time making decisions about the most efficient way to accomplish these large projects necessary to keep their roads in good condition.
But there may be room for more efficiency when it comes to small, continual maintenance costs, such as running snowplows through the winter.
“We’re trying to get a grasp of what doing our own plowing costs,” said Town Board Member Jeff Holm.
Jeff advocates installing GPS devices on Baldwin’s plows. The devices would be able to collect information about plow routes, length of time plows are in-use and even when the plowing blade is up or down. This information could help Baldwin streamline their plow-routes, creating more efficiency and hopefully save money.
Additionally, the GPS devices would help snowplow drivers navigate their routes more efficiently. In recent years, Baldwin installed signs marking township roads to help snowplow drivers recognize where they were responsible for plowing. Prior to the signs, township plows would often overlap county plow routes. These kinds of inefficiencies are not expensive on their own, but they add up over time.
The township looked into GPS in 2009, but ultimately decided against it.
There would be initial instillation costs to implement the devices, then a low monthly cost to run them during plowing months, but Jeff believes the GPS systems would be a net-positive.
Should Baldwin look into GPS for its plows again?