City begins to replace equipment lost in fire
By Kate Johnson
Mother Nature has been going back and forth with her decisions on sun or snow; however, spring is nearly here which will lead us to summer. With the seasons beginning a revolving door, soon winter will be upon us again and, because of that, the city has decided to begin moving forward with thoughts and ideas of a new shop.
Last summer, after a fire ignited under a truck in the city shop, the shop and equipment were lost. This is something the city has considered to be a loss, with the building being a place to store their city equipment.
Under Council Member Travis Frey’s portfolio as public works equipment chairman, he has been the one searching for new equipment to replace what was lost. In the beginning of February, Frey presented some of the first replacements of the long list ahead.
Equipment destroyed included a 2009 Arctic Cat, 2009 Bobcat Snowblower, 1993 John Deere 955, 2002 John Deere 4500, 2002 John Deere 4500, 2009 Frontier mower, 2010 Woods mower, 2010 Woods mower, 2004 John Deere ZTR mower, 2008 line paint machine, old John Deere rototiller, old John Deere sickle mower, old John Deere post hole digger, 2011 10-ft. performance trailer, 2008 speed trailer – speed sign, many spare parts and tools, and tipping carts (72). For equipment alone, insurance was able to reimburse the city, $63,819.25. Also lost were a 1994 Ford F-150 pickup and a 2012 Ford F-250 Pickup. Insurance reimbursement for the two trucks was $30,206.25.
As of now, Frey requested the replacements of four items which are considered to be “in process.” Equipment being replaced at this time could be considered spring/summer items. Council has approved moving forward on the purchase of items listed as follows: John Deere 4052 Tractor ($27,478), a John Deere ZTR mower ($21,345), and a Bobcat auger ($2,224).
Discussion was held over a “Swanston slope mower rental.” Frey presented the possibility of renting the mower to see if it is something that public works likes or doesn’t. The rental would occur for three months at the price of $10,500. If, at the end of three months the city wishes to purchase the mower, that payment already made will go towards the full purchase price of $43,200. However, if operators of this new mower do not like how it works, then that $10,500 is kept because of the rental. With this mower, the deck angles and the cab stays vertical, with the driver staying up right.