The City of Sedalia's latest purchase hit the streets this past week, making those streets much cleaner.

On May 2, City Council approved the purchase of a new vacuum street sweeper from Red Equipment, LLC, (Kansas City) at a cost of $245,000 for the Street Department.

The old 2008 model needed to be replaced, and to fix the old one would have cost more than half the price of a new one, according to Public Works Director Brenda Ardrey.

The new street sweeper was bought through an NJPA cooperative purchasing contract through Sourcewell. This allowed for a $13,585 discount on the $271,716 machine.

And on May 9, Public Works employees were showing it off to Mayor Andrew Dawson and Councilwoman Rhiannon Foster with a demonstration by taking it to the streets.

“I think it's excellent. It's going to cut down on the manpower we need in order to clear out our gutters and curb lines. It's also going to help with stormwater issues, because we're getting those gutters clean,” Dawson told KSIS.

He added that there's a vacuum attachment on the back that help suck out storm drains. “That's pretty cool,” Dawson said.

#228 is “definitely cost-effective and efficient,” the Mayor remarked. "That's what we want.

Justin Bray, Public Works operations manager for the City of Sedalia, noted that the old street sweeper is “expired” and prompted the need to request bids on a new one.

The new Ravo 5i sweeper (with cruise control and lots of hydraulics) also helps with cleaning gutters, curbs, catch basins, ditch lines and trimming weeds. Overall, it is smaller and more compact than the old one.

The Ravo 5i is under a two-year warranty, Bray said, and that includes service kits that came with the machine.

The sweeper can be used anytime the temperature is above 28 degrees, Bray said, noting that the Ravo carries a water supply, which helps clean the street more thoroughly.

The diesel-powered Ravo has a 5.5-cubic-yard capacity and the debris collected is compacted through a vacuum process. Once full, the debris can be dumped and the bed cleaned swiftly with a built-in water pump and spray gun attachment, and the machine is then ready for the next session.

Jeff Paxton is the operator of the new Ravo 5i, and seemed very pleased with the new machine, which has an automatic suspension and AC. Paxton's worked for the City for seven-and-a-half years. He was trained on the new sweeper by Red Equipment, and demonstrated on Monday that he can operate the Ravo 5i with complete ease.

Councilwoman Foster rode along with Paxton on Monday, shooting cell phone video and learning all about Sedalia's new street sweeper.

“Oh my gosh! I was extremely impressed! I love that it can do the job of 5-6 employees and 3 trucks. To do what we witnessed yesterday it took our guys out with shovels!! Those curbs hadn't seen the light of day for YEARS!! Also, before they with the other trucks they would have to pull up, turn around and back track, the turn radius combined with the cameras changes that! I love that neighborhoods will see cleaner streets! And it can even rip out weeds growing , too!” Foster commented on Tuesday morning.