When Richard Hedge got to go shopping for new vehicles for the Greencastle Utility Department, he was like the kid in hand-me-downs walking into the clothing store for the first time.
After a winter in which Greencastle Utilities Supt. Hedge was at the mercy of other city departments' vehicles and schedules in getting snow and ice removed from around the water and sewer plants, he was finally rewarded for his patience at this week's Board of Works meeting.
Hedge won approval to purchase two new Ford trucks, a half-ton variety and a three-quarter-ton truck. Total purchase price for the two 2011 Ford trucks was $46,047 from Kenny Vice Ford, Ladoga.
Vice submitted the lowest and most responsive bid. Hedge also received quotes from York Chevrolet-GMC, Greencastle.
Previously the City Utility Department had no vehicle it could attach a plow to for snow removal efforts at the water and sewer plants. The ice and snow of January and February made for tough sledding around the plants until the Cemetery Department was able to help clear the area.
The new white trucks will replace a couple of 15-year-old vehicles that have been passed around between city departments like a pair of patched blue jeans. One, a blue 1996 Ford Crown Victoria originally owned by the police department, has some mechanical issues, Hedge said. The other, a 1996 Chevrolet Blazer that also has been around the block as a city vehicle, may yet again be passed on to another department.
The Board of Works also approved a three-year loan at 2.72 percent interest through First National Bank to help fund the purchase at an annual payment of $16,885.94. With $12,000 available in the Water Department budget and $10,000 in the Wastewater Department budget, the 2011 installment is more than covered, it was noted.
Hedge was also urged to look for a used snowplow, which he suggested could be purchased for approximately $2,500 or half the list price of a new one.
In other business, the board tabled a request by Bill Fenlon to adjustment a water/sewer bill on property he owns at 2 N. Jackson St. (the former J.C. Penney building).
Fenlon will pay the average monthly bill (approximately $19) incurred at the property for last month, while the board researches previous adjustment decisions. Fenlon had received a monthly water/sewer bill of $529.84 after a toilet was left running in a student art gallery the Fenlons subsidize in the building. Students are not there regularly, Fenlon noted, and the running toilet went unnoticed until the bill arrived.
Board member Thom Morris, although sympathetic to the problem, said he wanted the board to make a thoughtful decision due to the precedent it might set for similar future issues.
Also entering into the equation is the fact an adjustment had been granted for a similar problem in one of the apartments in the same building about five months ago.