Darren Doyle, story and photo
After a lengthy discussion in today's fiscal court meeting, magistrates voted to move forward with the purchase of three brand new trucks for the Edmonson County Road Department with approval in the amount around $300,000.
County Road Foreman Ray Page addressed the court back in January of the dire need he said his department faced with the worn out trucks his crew had been using. He presented examples of three used trucks that were fully equipped for snow and other usage for around $225,000 for all three.
During the discussion, none of the magistrates nor the Judge disputed that the department needed newer trucks, the main point of the issue became whether the county would be better off purchasing brand new vehicles versus used ones.
Judge Cannon noted that Page's preference and professional opinion should be heavily relied upon, and Page said he had no preference. He said his department would be happy with either way the court voted, as either option would make a world of difference with his crew.
New trucks will cost the county around $5K/mo, while used ones would cost around $4K/mo, anywhere between a 5-7 year period, depending on interest rates and down payments.
Mag. Mark Woosley was one of the first in favor of new trucks. He said his reasons for the new trucks would be a better interest rate, warranty availability, and likely less down time for repairs and maintenance. Magistrates Johnny Brooks and Clark Wood agreed.
Magistrate Joe Durbin felt like used trucks would be the better fit for the county's budget, and that good used trucks would still be very reliable. Magistrate Buck Simmons agreed with Durbin.
After discussion, the court came to vote, resulting in Magistrates Woosley, Brooks, Wood, and Rich voting for new, while Joe Durbin and Buck Simmons voted against. The vote for new trucks passed.
Each district will pay a percentage of their road money towards the monthly payment based on the amount each district receives. Districts that have more mileage of paved roads receive more funding, therefore, they'll pay more towards the payment, but each district will pay an equal percentage.
Judge Wil Cannon said the purchase will not be made until July, so until then, Page will continue researching the options and features that will best suit the road department.