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CNBNEWS OPINION: Where is the City Street Sweeper?

By William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews

IMG_6615Photo of North Stinson Avenue, Monday, August 30, 2021, at 3:30 PM. There is no parking on this side of the street between the hours of 1 PM and 3 PM as Monday is the scheduled day for the sweeper. (CNBNews) 



GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (August 30, 2021)(CNBNews)--Monday, August 30, marked the third week that neighbors living on the odd address side of North Stinson Avenue haven't seen the street sweeper. In the past, the highway department and the police told us the reason for the sweeper not showing up was that it was broken down. But, recently the city purchased new sweepers so it is hard to conceive that the new sweepers are breaking down again.

A few years back a former police officer told us the sign saying no parking has nothing to do with the street sweeper. Pointing at the sign he said, "Do you see anything about the street sweeper on that sign?"  So when we asked what is the reason we are not allowed to park on one side of the street for two hours, he didn't answer us.

In 2007, the first full year of our blog we tackled the controversial topic of the City's street sweepers and the parking tickets issued for blocking the sweepers. 

That year the Gloucester City Court Administrator released the following information: 

"Since January until the end of August, the Police Department has issued a total of 4,168 citations for parking violations for an average of 521 tickets a month.  There is a $25 fine for violating the law. The City has collected $13,025 a month (521 tickets x $25). Times that amount by eight months the total is $104,200.  If that pace continues the City Police/Courts will collect $156,300 for the year from parking fines. Incidentally, sometimes the fine for the violation is more so the estimated figure is on the low side."

Related: Change Gloucester City’s No Parking Ordinance

Recently we submitted an OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request to update those numbers.  The fine for blocking the sweeper remains at $25.

We also asked for other data such as the salaries for the operators of the sweepers, the salary for the Parking Enforcement Office (PEO), and the cost to fuel the equipment. The purchase price of the sweepers and the date they were purchased.

There are two street sweepers and two operators. The annual salary for each driver is $60,255 (that doesn't include health benefits). Both men work 40 hours per week.  The PEO, a part-time position with no benefits, works 23 hours per week. The position pays $13.26 per hour or $15,859 annually.

Presently diesel fuel is costing city taxpayers $2.36 a gallon, according to Kathy Jentsch, the City's custodian of records. In 2017 diesel fuel cost on average $1.83 a gallon.

In 2006 the city purchased a 2006 Elgin for $125,000. It is in operation three days a week and uses on average between 600 and 700 gallons of diesel a year. Annual fuel cost approximately $ 1,652.

The newest sweeper, a 2011 Elgin was purchased for $175,000. It is in operation four days a week and uses between 1,200 to 1,300 gallons a year. Annual fuel cost approximately $3,068. 

Wednesday is a maintenance day for both sweepers. 

How many parking tickets were issued for the period of 2014 up until November 28, 2018, the date of our OPRA request? And how much revenue was received from those tickets for the same period? 

YEAR         Total No. of Tickets issued     TOTAL REVENUE        

2014-               1,924                                  $1,220        

2015                 2,329                                    1,506

2016                 2,137                                    1,366

2017                 2,162                                    1,382

2018                 1,688                                     1,178

up until 11-28-18