The Portland Board of Mayor and Aldermen discussed the possibility of purchasing an air curtain burner for use at the city dump to burn tree and brush materials. As a service to its citizens, the city picks up brush materials and hauls it to the dump.
In the past, the materials were burned, but the Environmental Protection Agency will not permit open air burning there because there are residential homes within one-half mile of the dump.
Three years ago, the city paid a company to grind the material but not have the debris hauled off after the grinding due to the expense.
The city has received a bid from Sears Tree Service, LLC for grinding the wood waste.
The company will grind the wood waste and leave the mulch on-site at a cost of $39,500 with an additional cost of $31,500 to haul the mulch off. The total cost to grind the wood waste and haut off the mulch would be $72,000. AirBurners, Inc. has given the city a quote of $117,780.29 for the purchase of an Air Curtain Burner.
Mayor Mike Callis said at the Jan. 4 BOMA meeting, “It would be a cost savings going forward.”
According to Public Works Director Carlton Cobb, the air curtain burner could be carried to different locations for other projects such as cleaning out canals. He added that the burner could be maintained by city mechanics, and that the city has the necessary equipment to haul the burner from one location to another.
There is also the possibility of selling the leftover debris after the burn as mulch. It would require one or two city employees to receive certification to operate the burner at a cost of $3,929.00 for a two-three day suggested training period.
Callis brought the matter before the BOMA for discussion to see how the council felt about purchasing an air curtain burner before going forward on gathering additional information. There was no objection from the BOMA.
Alderman Bryan Woodall brought up the advantages of the city purchasing a street sweeper. He suggested the city contract for one for several months before purchasing one. The purchase would have a couple of drawbacks with the larger model requiring a driver with a Commercial Driver’s License and a city employee would need to be hired to run the sweeper.
The BOMA also approved on second reading entering into an agreement with the State Tennessee Department of Transportation Division of Freight and Logistics to provide improvements at the three railroad crossings in downtown Portland.