Webster County engineer’s office gets vehicle monitoring

New vehicle monitoring equipment should help the Webster County engineer’s office reduce costs and improve safety, the Board of Supervisors heard Tuesday.

A proclamation of September as Addiction Recovery Month was also approved, as well as a water line out to the off-highway vehicle park.

The board approved a purchase of a Networkfleet vehicle management system with three year customer support from Electronic Engineering. This will monitor some of the county’s equipment, such as road graders and dump trucks.

The system should help reduce operating costs, increase worker productivity and increase safety, Webster County Engineer Randy Will said.

The monitors will plug into the engine’s performance monitoring systems, and also can track where the equipment is by satellite, Will said. They also communicate wirelessly through the cell network.

One way it may save gas is by tracking engine idle times.

“Idle time is a biggie. We have a lot of diesel engines, and I think the fallacy is let them run,” he said. “There’s a good reason for it sometimes, but idle time is a big source of wastefulness.”

It will also allow monitoring of where the road graders have been.

“We get calls about the road graders. People say ‘I haven’t seen a road grader in two months,’ or ‘He did go by but he was going 30 miles an hour,'” said Supervisor Keith Dencklau. “This will track when he was there, and how fast he was going.”

The system will be put on 50 of the county vehicles, with county employees doing the installation, Will said. The monitors can also be moved from one piece of equipment to another depending on the season.

The cost is $12,425 for the initial purchase, and a total recurring charge of $13,170 per year based on the number of vehicles covered.

“By our investigation we believe the rate is very competitive,” Will said.

OHV park and Addiction Recovery

The board approved a permit for the city of Fort Dodge to install a 16-inch water main along Quail Avenue out to the Gypsum City Off-Highway Vehicle Park.

Phase II of the park will open in early September, and a campground is on track to be finished this fall.

The board officially declared that September is Addiction Recovery Month. Sean O’Connor, prevention specialist at Community Family Resources, read the proclamation to be signed by the board chair.

“Prevention of mental and/or substance use disorders works, treatment is effective, and people recover,” O’Connor said. “We must encourage relatives and friends of people with mental and/or substance use disorders to implement preventive measures, recognize the signs of a problem, and guide those in need to appropriate treatment.”

CFR will hold its annual Recovery Month family event from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at Oleson Park, he said, complete with karaoke, spin art, yoga and food grilled by the Lion’s Club.

Lundgren Wind Project

Components have been substantially delivered to all turbine sites in the Lundgren Wind Project, Will reporter.

Sixty of the 107 towers have been erected in the large wind farm in southern Webster County.

There are now 30 towers energized.