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Forestry committee approves truck purchase from Medford Motors

After starting with three bids for a new forestry department truck, Taylor County ended up with only the option from purchasing from Medford Motors.

According to assistant forest administrator Jordan Lutz, the county had initially received bids from Medford Motors for one vehicle and for two vehicles from Wheelers of Medford.

However, Lutz told committee members on Friday that Wheelers ended up withdrawing their bid due to Chevrolet dropping the fleet program pricing. Lutz noted that even with the Wheeler’s bids the Medford Motors bid was the lowest price option at about $5,000 less than the second lowest choice.

Medford Motors bid $36,749 for a 2022 Ford F250 Crew Cab with four wheel drive.

“We are getting a lot more truck for a low price,” Lutz said, noting the truck exceeded their bid specifications. He suggested that given the price and how the truck would be used that the county further spend about $700 more to get an off-road package which includes some reinforced parts and additional protection for the fuel tank.

Lutz said they considered delaying bringing it to the committee for another month in order to seek additional bids, but with the lead time on vehicles did not want to push it off too far.

The forestry department is purchasing the vehicle ahead of schedule because the buildings and grounds department is in need of upgrading their current vehicle. In keeping with past county practice to maximize use of vehicles, buildings and grounds “purchases” vehicles that are being replaced from other county departments keeping them until they are cost-prohibitive to repair. Lutz told committee members that buildings and grounds needs the vehicle as soon as they can.

With going with a bigger truck, Lutz noted it opens more possibilities for use as far as being able to tow the department’s Skidsteer or even being used for supplemental plowing in the future.

Committee members approved the purchase of the truck with the addition of the off-road package.

In other business, committee members: Approved closing out sale 694 from Wilson Forestry for $105,018.42. Lutz noted this was the first sale since they tweaked the estimating program and that at 8% under run and 5% under value than the estimate it was much closer to actual than the previous program which would routinely be 30% or more off.

Approved sending to county board the Taylor County Forest Annual Work Plan. This must be approved annually by the county board as part of the forest certification. There were no significant changes from past years.