By SUZANNE MOORE
---- — ELLENBURG CENTER — The Town of Ellenburg needs a new front-end loader.
“The one that we have is a 1993, has a lot of hours on it,” Highway Superintendent Bradley Wright said Tuesday. “We’ve put a lot of money into it ... (but) it’s getting very tired and weak.”
And making further repairs would just not be cost effective, he said.
The town intends to replace that old loader with a 2013 John Deere 624K wheel loader with cab and four-cylinder bucket that would be purchased on state contract, which means the bidding process is not required.
At a special meeting set for 5 p.m. today, the Town Council will vote on a resolution to use no more than $50,000.01 from the general-type Highway Equipment Capital Reserve Fund, along with $66,844.54 in the form of a statutory installment bond as a loan to pay the balance of the $116,844.55 total cost.
Wright, who took office Jan. 1, 2010, and just began his second term as highway superintendent, said the purchase follows a couple of years of looking into choosing the right machine for the work.
A front-end loader is vital to the highway operation, he said.
“Can’t load a truck without it,” he said. “A loader is one of those pieces of equipment you use every day.”
The use of Capital Reserve funds is subject to permissive referendum, which means that a petition signed by a specific number of town residents could force the issue to public vote. That document would have to be filed with the town within 30 days from the adoption of the resolution that OKs spending the money.
If that doesn’t happen, the loader would be ordered at the end of that time, Wright said.
Today’s special meeting is open to the public.
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