The Infrastructure Support group within Business Services enjoyed a mercifully uncomplicated year in 2001-2002. With the handoff of the port-o-pottie and RV waste disposal functions to DPW , and with the Emergency Services team taking on responsibility for their own medical shade and equipment, Infrastructure Support had to manage only the vendor contracts for office buildings, golf carts, and the Gerlach shuttle service.
This year we were able to plan far enough ahead to allow us to work with only one vendor for our temporary building needs, which reduced our total cost and the amount of headache required to coordinate this function. In addition, this year we developed a much more explicit focus on making buy/rent/build decisions for each of the structures we use to manage and support the city. As a result, we RENTED 35% fewer buildings (11 vs. 17), and instead built several more that were customized for the needs of the individual departments. These structures will now be available for our use in 2003.
After a very bad year in 2001, when we sustained lots of golf cart loss and damage, we made aggressive management of this resource a priority this year. A designated DPW golf cart mechanic spent some time with our vendor prior to the event learning to maintain and service the carts, and we set up a Golf Cart Service Station at the staff Commissary, where staff members were asked to drop their carts for periodic preventive maintenance. Staff members were also asked to agree to a Golf Cart Code of Conduct, with the goal of reducing loss and damage.
In some ways, this program was successful: Fewer carts were damaged through negligent use than in previous years. We had a serious problem with cart theft during the event, however, and one cart was never found, requiring us to pay the vendor for the cost of the lost cart. For 2003, we are looking at testing out some alternative playa transportation options for staff, and trying to come up with a theft-deterrent system for the carts are very welcome!
Since the on-playa operations of the Gerlach shuttle are managed by Community Services, see that section for comments about this year’s bus operations.
Dana Harrison, aka BizBabe