The municipality of Meaford will soon be on the hunt for two mechanics.
Council approved this decision at their latest council meeting after a lengthy report from staff followed by heavy debate among council.
Currently the municipality spends about $150 an hour on equipment repairs according to a staff assessment.
By the municipality hiring two mechanic positions, staff says that most of their work can be done in-house.
To make room for one of the mechanic positions an equipment operator position will be swapped for a mechanic once the operator retires this November.
Darcy Chapman, Treasurer/Director of Financial Services and Infrastructure Management says that this will free up hours for equipment operators.
"Currently our operators perform about four hours of maintenance a week on the vehicles, now the mechanics can spend time on repairs while our operators spend more time out maintaining the roads," Chapman says.
Staff says that by hiring mechanics they will heavily cut the equipment repair costs over time.
In their report staff cites that any parts can now be bought privately and the municipality can avoid the usual 15% part markup found in many garages.
A couple members of council like Harley Greenfield and Tony Bell were very much against the idea of hiring two mechanics. Greenfield believes that doing all the work in-house would take business away from mechanics in the area. Meanwhile Bell felt that the cost difference between the two was so minimal that there was no point in hiring mechanics.
Mechanics would also function as a snowplows operator when circumstances absolutely require additional drivers, Chapman says this is a common practice seen in other municipalities.
Both positions will be posted within the municipality's current staff and to the public, Chapman says this is to optimize their chances of finding the best possible person for the job.