City seeks vendor for DPW fitness equipment

Feb. 20—Scranton plans to outfit a Department of Public Works fitness room with new exercise equipment.

A public notice published last week in The Times-Tribune invites vendors to submit sealed bids to provide and deliver the equipment, specifically free weights, plates, bars and machines that DPW employees can use for rehabilitation and conditioning.

The equipment must be new, heavy-duty commercial grade and able to fit in a 325-square-foot fitness room at the DPW’s 101 W. Poplar St. facility, according to bid specifications. The brands and models must also be in active production and the vendor must provide a commercial warranty.

Officials opted to solicit bids when estimates of the equipment’s potential cost came close to the $22,500 bidding threshold, Business Administrator Larry West said. He and others noted the myriad benefits of maintaining a physically fit workforce for physically intensive jobs.

“We’ve been working really hard … to reduce our workers’ compensation costs,” West said. “Some of that has to do with the city being more attentive to those who are on workers’ compensation, but this plays a role as well.”

“Having a physically fit force and allowing them to take their health care and their physical (shape) seriously, there’s an opportunity for us to play a role there and I think the city should endorse that,” he said.

Beyond the DPW, Scranton police have a gym at their headquarters on South Washington Avenue. The Scranton Fire Department also has a gym at its Mulberry Street headquarters and fitness equipment at its station houses throughout the city, Fire Chief John Judge said.

“The health and safety of the workforce here in the city is paramount,” he said. “All three departments have physically demanding jobs — fire, police and DPW — so if they’re working out and they’re more fit … life expectancy obviously increases and also it reduces workplace injuries.”

Bids to provide the DPW equipment are due by 10 a.m. March 8.

Contact the writer:

[email protected]; 570-348-9141;

@jhorvathTT on Twitter.

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