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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims

County to retire equipment in favor of two new trackhoes

By Charlene Sims, Journal staff

MOUND CITY – Linn County Commissioners on Monday, May 8, made the decision to switch from backhoes to track hoes for the road crew. The commission voted unanimously to purchase two Caterpillar trackhoes for about $585,000 from Foley Equipment.

Public Works Director Shaun West told the commissioners that there was $350,000 in the equipment budget for the purchase of two new backhoes. West said that the road foremen had looked over other equipment they needed to get rid of including the two old backhoes, two boom mowers, and one saw blade which they conservatively estimate will bring in $232,000. This would only leave a $2,000 to $3,000 difference. .

Since one of the new trackhoes would not be available for four or five months, it was determined to keep one of the old backhoes until the new one arrives. One trackhoe is on the dealer’s site now and will be delivered shortly. After the two backhoes are sold, the county will still own one backhoe.

West said that he had enough items along with a skid steer loader and a van from the transportation department to make it worth people’s time to come look at the items for sale through Purple Wave Auction service.

At this meeting and an earlier meeting, West explained why he and the foremen thought trackhoes would be better for the county than the backhoes.

West told the commissioners it would be two pieces of equipment with three attachments each and an 84-month warranty replacing four pieces of equipment with no warranties. Each trackhoe will have a toothed bucket, a five-foot smooth bucket for cleaning ditches and a forestry head.

He said that, because of the rubber tracks, ditches could be cleaned out along the hard top roads and the roadways would not be damaged.

He also told the commissioners that, they would save time and manpower when cutting trees along the roads. The reach of the track hoes’ attachment is about four feet higher than the boom mowers and the forestry head attachment would mulch the trees they are cutting. So instead of having someone picking up the branches and putting them in a truck, that step is removed.

West said that they were looking for the quick detach so they don’t have to fight and beat the pins when changing equipment. He also told the commissioners that having the two new pieces of equipment with warranties and service contracts would save the county maintenance and down time.

In other public works business, the commissioners:

• Approved the contract and Commission Chair Danny McCullough signing of it for the overlay of 5.5 miles of Wall Street by Killough Construction Inc. for nearly $660,300.

• Approved Straightline Striping’s bid of $9,900 to stripe the asphalt on the 5.5 miles of Wall Street and 1,500 feet of Radcliffe Road that the county is asphalting. West said that this is a single-source bid with only one company contacted because Straightline had worked for the county before, their bids are lower, and the jobs have been completed satisfactorily.

• Postponed buying a new pickup truck until the equipment sold from the county shops. West said that the budget had $50,000 for the truck and the cost was going to be $43,000. The truck, since it is not a fleet truck, would replace the public works truck which has 133,000 miles. That truck would be moved to the north road shop to replace a 1997 truck that has 252,000 miles on it.

• Approved right of way and temporary construction easements for the Hell’s Bend bridge project on 2300 Road totaling about $11,200. The easements were with Larry A. and Beverly M. Lee with three easements, .29 acres for $1890, .38 acres for $2,820, and .31 acres for $2,485; Delmar H. Ferguson and Darlene L. Ferguson Cox .05 acres for $2,000; Watershed Land Trust a right of way of .5 acres and a temporary construction easement of .09 acres for a total of $2,000.

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