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Loader buy-back program saves county money
Commission OKs purchase of two new units for Road and Bridge
track loader
This photo shows an example of the T650 T4 Bobcat track loaders used by the Barton County Road and Bridge Department.

Continuing to utilize a program that has saved the county money over the years, the Barton County Commission Monday morning approved exercising the municipal buy-back option on two Bobcat track loaders used by the Road and Bridge Department.

The 2019 T650 T4 Bobcat track loaders are being replaced with 2020 models from Bobcat of Salina. The cost to utilize the roll over is $4,550 for each machine and includes a one-year warranty, County Works Director Darren Williams said. 

“This is really advantageous for the county,” Williams said. One of the current machines has 259 hours on it already, and the other 457 hours.

“The older they get, the more costly they are,” he said. Most repairs are covered by the warranty.

Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said they have had “lengthy discussions” over whether this is the most economical way to go and if it is really in the county’s best interest. But, they continue to see the benefits.

“This is a no-brainer,” Commissioner Jim Dailey said. The cost of a new loader outright would be between $55,000-60,000. 

Williams it costs the county about $7.59 per hour to operate the loaders under the buy-back program. “That’s pretty cheap.”

“It’s a pretty well-rounded piece of machinery,” he said of the Bobcats, adding they see a lot of action. They are used for dirt and asphalt work, among other tasks.

In 2014, Road and Bridge purchased a loader from Bobcat of Salina under a municipal contract. In 2017, Road and Bridge purchased another loader under the same arrangement.

The rollover option has been utilized for both Bobcats ever since, Williams said.  

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:

• Approved exercising the municipal roll-over program on Bobcat track loaders for the Road and Bridge Department.

• Approved a policy for vehicles impounded by the Barton County Sheriff’s Office.

In 2005, the commission adopted a resolution establishing a policy for vehicles impounded by the Barton County Sheriff’s Office at the county lot on Seventh Street. However, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said it is lengthy and detailed, required commission approval for any changes in such matters as impound fees and hours of operation.

Bellendir said he has since developed a Sheriff’s Office policy based on Kansas statutes and current operational needs.  

He suggested the Commission rescind the earlier resolution in favor of the new Sheriff’s Office policy. This policy allows his office to set the hours and costs without having to bother the commission.

He just asked that the commission rescind the 2005 resolution, and defer to the SO policy, which is what commissioners approved.