SnowstormDowntown Red Bank during a January 2007 snowstorm.

A shared-services deal with Monmouth County approved by Red Bank officials earlier this week is expected to save the borough hundreds of thousands of dollars in snow removal costs in coming years, they contend.

The savings will result not only from lower direct costs for deicing salt, but will obviate the need for the borough to build a protective dome for the material, as required under new stormwater management regulations, they say.

Borough Administrator Stanley Sickles said the savings on a salt dome alone would be “in the six figures.”

“It’s an excellent deal,” says borough public works director Gary Watson.

The multifaceted agreement being offered to all 53 towns in the county also enables municipalities to get their sanitation and other vehicles washed without having to build facilities to capture waste water, again in compliance with new rules.

Material and services ranging from fuel to road signs to sewer pipe to autobody repair of government vehicles are also available via county-bid contracts, says John Tobia, director of the county’s public works and engineering operation.

He appeared at Monday night’s bimonthly council session to brief elected officials on the program, and said 14 towns had already signed on with blanket resolutions that allow them to buy goods and services without any obligation to do so.

The most immediate impact of the deal, Tobia told redbankgreen afterward, would likely be in salt costs. (Actually, he says, the county uses magnesium treated salt, which he says is considered waterway-safe by the EPA, doesn’t rust metal and works longer on roadways.)

Because of its buying power, Tobia says, the county can offer towns salt at its cost of $83 per ton, whereas one town was recently paying close to $100 per ton on its own.

Watson told us that Red Bank paid $83 a ton for its most recent direct purchase, but expects the county price to be competitive for future buys.

“If the county’s price is better, I’ll just go with the county,” he says.

Currently, the borough stores about 150 tons of salt at the public works facility on Chestnut Street that Watson says is “inadequate.”

The county’s goal is to have three truck-washing facilities sited for the convenience of nearby towns, Tobia said.

The six-member council gave the deal unanimous approval. Here’s the text of what was approved: Download 09-25

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