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County replaces wreck-damaged dump truck
new deh county truck sale pic
Pictured is a 2016 Peterbilt 367 tandem axle dump truck purchased by the Barton County Road and Bridge Department. The County Commission Monday morning approved the purchase of another similar truck to replace one damaged in an accident. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

 The purchase of a new dump truck for the Barton County Road and Bridge Department to replace one damaged in an accident was OKed by the County Commission Monday morning. However, the action did not meet with unanimous approval.

In October, a 1990 Peterbilt 357 Truck was totaled in a work-related wreck. The county’s insurance company EMC Insurance of Des Moines, Iowa, offered Barton County $15,500 less the policy deductible of $1,000. After researching like vehicles, Road and Bridge confirmed this is a fair settlement price, said Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips. 

“Replacing the truck is very important to the Road and Bridge Department,” Phillips said. This is especially crucial with the threat of winter storms.

Anticipating that the wrecked 1990 Peterbilt dump truck would be totaled, the Road and Bridge Department contacted Doonan Peterbilt about a replacement. Doonan’s provided a price based on previous competitive bids for similar trucks, less attachments. 

The commission approved purchasing the truck at a cost of $174,845. This is for the truck and bed.

It was noted, that once purchased, the vehicle will be retrofitted with a hydraulic system capable of operating snow plow and salt/sand spreaders currently used by the department. It should arrive in about six weeks.

The cost is being offset in part by the insurance settlement. The balance comes from money set aside for equipment replacement, revenue from work done for cities and townships, and revenue the department received through federal reimbursement funds.

“This should last us another 25 years,” Phillips said. “It is important to keep our fleet up and in good shape.”

The department maintains nearly 400 miles of paved roads and is entering winter,which is hardest season on the vehicles, he said.

Phillips said they looked at used trucks, but retrofitting them for use with existing implements would be costly. Also, they like having the warranties that come with new trucks.

“It takes a lot of money to keep the county running,” Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said. It is good Phillips and his staff is looking down the road at saving money in the long term.

But, Commissioner Alicia Straub questioned buying the new truck, especially since the county bought four new trucks this past spring. “Is another one necessary now?”

She voted nay. She said she couldn’t reconcile the county raising the mill levy six mills with the purchase of another new truck. 

In another Road and Bridge truck-related matter, the commission approved the sale of two used IHC tandem axle dump trucks. The Road and Bridge Department accepted bids for the sale of two 1992 trucks and certain equipment. Namely, one is being sold with a snow plow and the other with a snow plow and salt-sand spreader.

Bids were accepted through Tuesday, Dec. 8. 

Straub was again opposed. She thought that since times are lean fiscally, one of the old trucks could be rehabilitated to get the county by until the economic outlook was better.

But, by a 4-1 vote, the commission approved the sale of one to Steve Wilhelm for $10,850 and one to L&M Construction for $10,520. They are being sold as is.

Money collected for the sale of both units will be deposited in the Road and Bridge Fund.  

The trucks sold Monday are the last of four being sold by the county. In November, the City of Hoisington purchased the other two trucks, one for d $14,250 and the other for $9,550. 

Earlier this fall, the Road and Bridge Department took possession of four new dump trucks, rendering the four older trucks obsolete. The purchase paved the way for the department to sell those units being replaced.