Carson City keeping inventory on maintenance | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City keeping inventory on maintenance

Carson City is taking inventory.

In June, the Board of Supervisors approved the reclassification of a vacant job for a GIS (geographic information systems) specialist to a position for an asset manager.

In July, Matt Lawton came on board. He's working to integrate the city's GIS system, which creates an inventory of assets like fire hydrants and pumps, and a computerized maintenance management system called eRPortal.

The latter gathers data on those assets and helps the city better manage and plan maintenance.

"We're shifting from reactive (maintenance) when something fails to be proactive, which is a big shift," said Danny Rotter, Carson City engineering manager. "Then we'll shift from proactive to predictive."

The change should save time and money and extend the life of the city's equipment and buildings.

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"The highest level goal," Rotter said, "is spending the right amount of money at the right location at the right time."

Rotter said the system should be rolled out to the Public Works divisions — streets, water, sewer, stormwater and wastewater — by the end of the year.

Streets and wastewater are ahead of the game.

The streets division already uses a pavement management system that keeps an inventory of city roads and their conditions to determine how and when to maintain the streets.

The Water Resource Recovery Facility implemented maintenance management software in the last year or so and in preparation for its $30 million maintenance project now underway.

Water and sewer use an older work order management system.

The goal in four to five years, said Rotter, is to have an inventory of all of the city's assets that require maintenance, from playground equipment in city parks to roofs on city buildings, and not just those associated with the Public Works department.

The move follows an evolution in GIS and asset management. In the 1990s, cities tracked equipment like manhole covers by painting them all one color, taking aerial photographs of city's streets and then manually counting all the manholes seen from above.

Now, vehicles equipped with sensors drive around and take 3D images, just like Google Street View, to create an inventory.

Crews use smart phones and tablets to collect information and eventually work orders will be pushed out to them by the software predicting when equipment needs maintenance.

The move to maintenance management systems is a national trend, spurred on by the economic downturn, said Rotter.

Carson City staff met with staff from the city of Sparks, which Rotter said is about a year ahead in its implementation.

He said Carson City is about in the middle of the pack, in terms of adopting the technology, for a city its size, but is catching up fast.