MARION -- Marion's Street Department is about to get extreme with the leaves clogging ditches and drains, with approval of the purchase of a giant vacuum cleaner on Monday night by the City Council.
Street Superintendent Doug Phillips said he had been searching for a better way to remove leaves for quite some time, and he came across a lightly used 2015 XtremeVac from Key Equipment and Supply in Bridgeton, Mo.
With just 40 hours of use, the XtremeVac's price is $58,500, a little more than half of what a new leaf vac would cost, Phillips said.
The unit, which is towed behind a truck or tractor, is "totally self-contained" and mulches the leaves as they are sucked in through a 16-inch hose. The huge hose is attached a large boom so that all the operator has to do is gently guide the business end to the debris.
Phillips said his department had tried the XtremeVac out last week and was pleased with the way it handled leaves. The department had previously been using a vac truck with just a 6-inch hose to do a job it wasn't designed for, he said.
The council, with Mayor Mike Absher and commissioners Doug Patton, John M. Barwick Jr. and John Stoecklin voted unanimously to approve the purchase, which is a budgeted item to be paid for out of gas tax funds. Commissioner Jim Webb was absent.