BARSTOW The City Council took steps to help improve Barstow's roads by approving the purchase of three new pieces of street repair equipment for the Public Works Department at Monday's meeting.

The Public Works Department had originally requested the purchase of six items of street repair equipment to replace aging equipment for a total cost of $830,000. The purchase of the three items most needed by the city totals $373,407.

The first motion voted on was to purchase all six items of street repair equipment that the Public Works Department originally requested. The Street Committee recommended that the city only purchase three of the items in order to cut down on costs.

Councilman Willie Hailey Sr. and Mayor Joe Gomez voted to purchase all six items, which include a ladder truck, a dump truck, a street sweeper, a motor grader, an asphalt roller and a traffic control vehicle. The rest of the Council was opposed to the motion.

The City Council then voted on a motion to approve the purchase of the three pieces of equipment that are most needed by the city. The motion passed 4-1 with Councilman Hailey dissenting.

The three items that are used the most by the Public Works Department are the ladder truck, street sweeper and traffic control vehicle. Some of the other requested pieces of equipment were used only a few days last year after heavy rainstorms.

Councilman Tim Saenz said that the city can save money and simply rent the equipment needed after a heavy rainstorm. Councilman Hailey disagreed and said that the city needed a faster response time to repair streets after heavy rains.

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