Town will spend $165K on new dump truck
NEW IPSWICH — The Select Board agreed to expend $165,000 for the purchase of a new six-wheel dump truck during its Tuesday meeting.
According to a video recording of the meeting posted on the town’s website, the board met with Road Agent Peter Goewey to discuss the purchase of a new 2015 International dump truck. Goewey informed the board that there was currently $190,000 in the town’s expendable capital reserve fund for highway vehicles, so there was enough available to purchase a new truck outright.
The truck would replace a 1998 dump truck that is in need of immediate repairs which would take in excess of $25,000 for new frame rails to allow its continued use.
When the highway vehicle capital reserve was established, it was voted that the Select Board would have the ability to expend funds from the reserve at their discretion, so the withdrawal of funds does not need voter approval.
Select Board member Becky Doyle asked about the possibility of purchasing a 10-wheel dump truck, instead of a six-wheel truck.
Goewey said that there were advantages to a 10-wheel truck. For only a slightly longer vehicle, it could bear up to twice the weight of a six-wheeler, which could cut down on use of the truck and extend its life, he said. It is significantly more expensive, however, he added, — in the range of $206,000 — and there are not enough funds available to purchase a larger truck outright in the expendable trust fund.
Doyle asked if it would be possible to lease a 10-wheel truck for the first year, with the option to buy it. Town Administrator Roberta Fraser informed the board that lease payments are not an allowed use of the highway vehicle trust fund monies.
Also, Goewey added, at least twice in recent years at deliberative session, including this year, the town has expressed disinterest in purchasing a 10-wheel truck. This year, an amendment was offered at Deliberative Session to increase the annual contribution to the fund from $50,000 to $75,000, for the specific purpose of increasing the fund to a level where purchasing a 10-wheeler would be possible. The amendment was voted down.
“I don’t want to fight with the people,” said Goewey. Select Board Chair George Lawrence agreed that he would also not advocate for a 10-wheel purchase.
The board did, however, vote in approval to expend $165,000 from the highway vehicle expendable trust fund for the purchase of a six-wheel 2015 International dump truck and to outfit the vehicle with a plow, and to give Goewey permission to attempt to trade the town’s 1998 dump truck in, in exchange for an extended warranty on the new vehicle.
In other Highway Department news, the board discussed with Goewey roads that are scheduled to be redone this year with $500,000 approved by voters at the polls in March for road reconstruction and paving. North Road, Wheeler Road and Perry Road are all on the short list, said Goewey.
Doyle said she had been hearing complaints about Mason Road and River Road from residents in particular. “Mason Road, that’s gotten really, really beaten up this winter,” she said. “There are some spots that have broken right down.” She added that residents have been asking about improvements for River Road for multiple years.
Goewey replied that for River Road, he was reluctant to start a repaving process until scheduled bridge improvements were completed by the state.
Goewey also discussed with the board concerns for his budget line item for salting the roads. Originally, Goewey put forth a number of $42,000 for road salt, and under the default budget, which is in place since the proposed budget failed at the polls, the budget for salt has gone down to $40,000. Already this year, Goewey said, $32,000 has been spent. Goewey said he believes he can get through the rest of this year’s snowy weather without purchasing more than his current supply, but had concerns that it would be sufficient to cover snowfalls at the end of this year.
“The biggest expense is small storms, a dusting to an inch or two,” said Goewey. “It’s not enough to plow, but is still slippery, so we end up putting salt on the roads.”
Goewey said in the past cases that he has run short on items like salt, he has used excesses from other line items to cover the expense.
The Select Board meets next on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the town offices.
Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.