Darren Doyle, story
County Road Foreman Ray Page presented pricing and information to the fiscal court of three used International trucks that he says his department desperately needs. During the last meeting, Page addressed the court with his concerns regarding the safety, performance, and efficiency of the road department's current fleet of vehicles.
Page said that after the last snowstorm, it took thousands of dollars and a week's worth of labor to repair, maintain, and to prepare the trucks for the next round of inclement weather, which ironically, came last night.
He presented photos and paperwork describing three trucks, all 2009 models, from a dealer located north of Fort Wayne, IN, in which two of the trucks were priced at $73K each and a larger model priced at $108K. Each truck was equipped with snowplow equipment and ready to operate.
"We need these trucks now," Page said. "Right now, we're spending half our time working on the trucks we got and the other half plowing snow."
Judge Cannon said that no matter what route was taken with the purchase of new trucks, the purchase would have to be financed, as the county was unable to write a check in the neighborhood of $250,000.
Using current approximate interest rates on a 5-year term, County Clerk Kevin Alexander gave an estimated monthly payment to be somewhere around $4500/mo. Magistrate Edd Rich asked the court from what part of the budget would the money come, and how would monthly payments affect that budget?
Cannon said that a portion would come from each magistrate's road budget for their individual districts. "Well, these guys are beating and banging these old trucks back into shape every time they use them," Rich said. "They can't plow the roads if they can't get there."
Page said that the same sizes and models of those trucks would cost around $330K new. Cannon pointed out that purchasing new trucks rather than used ones could also have advantages, like better interest rates and longer financing. Alexander estimated the payment on new trucks would be approximately $5500/mo, which is around a 20% increase from the used price.
"There are still many options to research," Cannon said. "We don't have to buy three trucks at once. They can be bought in different numbers, new, used, etc, and we may not be able to look at buying anything until after July."
Page said he and a crew member would be able to do more research on the purchase and look at trucks in person after the winter weather ends. It didn't appear that any member of fiscal court had any hesitations in moving forward with the project.