County commits to buying two patrol trucks in 2023
Total cost of chassis and bodies for trucks will be about $600,000; funds come from highway revenues
Taylor County is committing now to spending $600,000 on two new dump trucks in 2023.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Taylor County Highway Committee, members approved ordering two replacement International patrol trucks with the county to get them in June or July 2023. The need for action came as commissioner Ben Stanfley last week attended the state highway conference and spoke with the truck vendor and was told that all manufacturing slots were filled for 2023.
The county each year routinely replaces two of its patrol trucks, which are used for road construction and snow plowing. The trucks are kept on a 10 year cycle. The county typically makes truck purchase decisions in late fall after the county budget is set.
Stanfley noted that the cost of the trucks was only 3.12% higher than this year, which he said was not bad considered how much other costs have gone up. He said after speaking with the vendor, he was able to get them to open up a slot for Taylor County’s trucks to arrive in 2023 rather than 2024. This required him to seek committee approval now rather than later in the year.
Stanfley said the purchase cost of the truck chassis are $142,000 each. The county has additional costs in outfi tting the bodies and equipment on the vehicles. He estimated that the total cost for each truck once completed would be about $310,000 to $315,000. He said the county spends about $600,000 a year in replacing the patrol trucks.
Stanfley said these trucks would be used for clearing snow on state highway routes and as a result would have additional brine storage capability and other equipment to meet state specifications.
Committee member Chuck Zenner noted that it is a replacement for existing trucks which will be traded in or sold and that by ordering them now the county will be ahead of the game.
The county will not pay for the trucks until they are delivered to the county next year.
In other business, committee members:
_ Approved requesting $99,500 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the replacement and upgrade of two radio repeaters on existing towers to address radio signal loss. Stanfley said the highway department uses analog radios and they had considered going onto the state law enforcement digital signals but with the number of radios that would need to be purchased as well as the monthly fee to join the state network per radio, that option is cost prohibitive. According to finance director Larry Brandl as of Tuesday’s meeting about $280,000 was remaining in ARPA funds that was not spoken for. Using the funds for the repeater would bring that down to about $180,000 remaining.
_ Approved bridge aid requests for Pine Avenue in Deer Creek for a $12,516 culvert, for Elder Drive in Aurora for an $11,902 culvert, and for Gengler Ave. in the town of Medford for an $8,092 culvert.
_ Approved a bridge aid request for the town of Westboro to share in the cost of putting an epoxy coating on the Business Highway 13 bridge. The low bid for the project was from Fahrner Asphalt Sealers at a cost of $35,959. The process is similar to chipsealing with the epoxy laid down to fill in cracks and a running surface of gravel put over it. According to Stanfley, the request is a first for the county but he said it fell within their bridge aid rules. He said the process could be expected to lengthen the life of the bridge by at least 10 years and can be done multiple times. “$35,000 is cheaper than a bridge deck replacement,” Stanfley said. Committee members said they are likely setting a precedent for participating in the project, but noted it is within the rules and will save taxpayers money over replacement of the bridge.