OAKDALE -- Street sweepers have returned to residential streets after a three-year absence forced by a strained city budget.
The City Council voted last week to contract with Environmental Systems, based in Modesto, to do the work.
The company will be paid $52,580 per year over three years, with an option for the city to extend the contract for two years.
Part of the money will come from the city street fund, the rest from the California Department of Transportation, which has kept up sweeping on Highways 108 and 120 through town.
A city staff report says sweeping "enhances community pride" while keeping leaves, litter and other debris out of storm drains. It is intended to complement the gutter raking done by individuals.
Mayor Pat Paul noted the lack of residential sweeping in her State of the City speech last month. Restoring the service, along with boosting police and street lighting, would keep Oakdale from getting an image of "dark, dirty, no cops," she said.
The mechanical sweepers will come by monthly in residential and industrial areas, a total of 150 "curb miles." Sweeping will be done weekly on the 15 curb miles downtown and along the state highways, as well as two curb miles along medians and roundabouts.
A memo from Environmental Systems noted that some streets could need multiple sweepings to get fully clean because of the buildup of debris over three years.
The company was the lowest among five bidders for the contract. It is charging $19.59 per curb mile per year.
On the Net: The street sweeping schedule is at www.ci.oakdale.ca.us.