How Much Should a Zamboni Cost, Anyway?
The Birmingham City Commission delayed purchasing a $94,000 Zamboni for the ice arena pending a more-detailed cost analysis.
So it's not something the average Birmingham resident would think of purchasing, but the Birmingham City Commission wants to know: how much should a Zamboni cost?
City commissioners postponed the purchase of a $94,343.33 Zamboni during their meeting last week, urging Department of Public Services (DPS) director Lauren Wood to look closely at the price tag.
"I want to see an analysis," said Commissioner Gordon Rinschler. "There's no consequences to public health and safety (by delaying this)."
The Zamboni purchase was brought before the city commission under its Consent Agenda along with five other major purchases from various city departments, including: a $28,000 Ford police interceptor, a $8,000 lawn mower and a $25,000 pick-up truck for DPS.
According to Wood, the city opened bids for the purchase of a new Zamboni, sometimes known as an ice resurfacer, on July 10. The city received one bid from Frank J. Zamboni & Co, Inc., based in Paramount, CA. The funds to replace the Zamboni are currently available in the city's Auto Equipment Fund.
The city's current Zamboni — which resurfaces the ice at the Birmingham Ice Sports Arena — was purchased in 1997 and has reached its life expectancy of 15 years.
"The unit is operated seven days per week at about 10-15 times per day resurfacing ice," Wood's report reads.
Birmingham is considering purchasing a propane-powered Zamboni, a system that is more efficient and effective, Wood said. An electric Zamboni is also available though not only is the machine more costly to repair annually, Wood says it costs $121,437.39.
Wood said her department will prepare a cost analysis of the Zamboni purchase for the city commission's next meeting on Aug. 27.
Speaking of Zambonis, Birmingham is still looking for a Zamboni driver. To apply, submit an application to the city's Department of Human Resources.