Unexpected emergencies are a great enemy of those involved in maintenance – any number of outside problems can suddenly cause an entity to fall behind in their most prioritized projects, showing the need for constant vigilance. It's often easiest to accomplish this with organizational tools such as computerized maintenance management software, which can help an operation to keep track of what is most in need of attention.
Town expresses unhappiness with road maintenance
Municipal maintenance has a variety of pressing tasks, and if it falls behind, as is often understandably the case, citizens are in some instances upset. Near Bismarck, North Dakota, for instance, those in Burleigh County Township are upset with the state of the local gravel roads that allow for travel throughout nearby rural areas, according to The Bismarck Tribune.
Part of the problem, according to James Schmidt, the chairman of the Burleigh County Township Officers Association, is the difficulty of municipal management, which has allowed backup on some projects that must now be confronted.
"We've got some roads where there is no maintenance at all. It's senseless to have these roads get in this bad of shape because of lack of maintaining, lack of [gravel work]. Graveling needs to be done June through September," he said, later adding that the roads are in "terrible shape. Some of these roads you cannot travel on."
There are serious problems that are not being confronted, according to Schmidt, including roads with ruts as deep as 2 feet. that hold water, leading to even greater damage.
Backed up projects can be dangerous
Now, many are wondering the best way to confront the issues, with Schmidt suggesting potentially contracting out the work. Others are wondering whether road fees ought to be raised, but many think that projects can be eventually caught up on, according to the source. In many ways, Schmidt is lucky that the issue has gained traction now, as other outside problems could have led to a worse situation.
There are many issues that can suddenly set back an operation, as those in Latimore Township, Pennsylvania, recently found out. There, a dangerous fire struck the town maintenance building, where a variety of tools and road maintenance and snow removal machines were housed.
These efforts could now be made far more difficult, with Latimore Township police Chief Mike Weigand telling the Sun that the town is focusing on getting the snow removal equipment maintenance necessary done before the winter weather arrives so that the process will be as smooth as possible. Unexpected backups such as this are always a danger to the operation – and could be a problem if there is deferred maintenance in a town as management must temporarily shift focus.
Outside, Detroit, a unique circumstance has made maintenance management more difficult. The debt and budgetary difficulties have not only hurt the city, but small towns nearby, according to Bridge Magazine. In Bangor, interim city manager Larry Neislen said that funding debt is becoming a problem, and that maintenance has become an issue. The town has had to outsource cemetery maintenance to a private contractor, and has begun reducing staff around town. It's worked so far, but it has created less margin for error.
"Unless you get a handle on this," Nielsen said, "the spiral downward is definitely there."
These two unpredictable issues show the things that can occur – and the reasons an operation needs to be on top of projects just in case. Tools such as asset management software can make sure that a manager's life is made as easy as possible with the latest advances in technology.
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