|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • County works on mower bids

  • The county’s side-mount mowers have seen better days.

    “We’ve got a lot of hours in those old mowers. They’re spending more time in the shop than they are on the road,” said Crawford County Commissioner Bob Kmiec. “They’re 10-12 years old already, and it’s time to replace them. They’re worn out.”

    • email print
  • The county’s side-mount mowers have seen better days.
    “We’ve got a lot of hours in those old mowers. They’re spending more time in the shop than they are on the road,” said Crawford County Commissioner Bob Kmiec. “They’re 10-12 years old already, and it’s time to replace them. They’re worn out.”
    Commissioners opened bids on Friday from four companies to replace those side-mount tractors and mowers. The county has four such mowers now and have included in their bid specifications a request for trade-in for three of those, keeping the fourth for backup.
    The bid specifications, however, is where things started to get confusing on Friday. The bid specifications by the county asked for the cost of two-wheel drive and for four-wheel drive (or front-wheel assist), as well as for the cost of options with or without joystick controls.
    That created some obvious confusion for the commissioners when the bids came back. One company submitted eight different bids for the three mowers/tractors.
    All told, bids came back “in the $200,000 range,” even factoring in the trade-in cost of the current mowers. The cost for adding on joystick control came in  at roughly $5,000 per mower.
    Eventually, commissioners decided to help eliminate the guesswork. They assigned county counselor Jim Emerson and shop foreman Greg Hite to pore over the bids and present them next Friday. But first, there was a small debate about which options should be selected
    Hite said the operators love using the joysticks, but commissioner Carl Wood said that cost is more important than comfort.
    “The joysticks are going to run us $16,000 on the bids and front-wheel assist is about $8,000 a unit,” Wood said. “That’s $24,000 if we’re going front-wheel assist. I know that costs a lot, but I don’t like stuff down in the ditch and I don’t like getting stuck. But I haven’t heard much on joysticks rather than cables.”
    Hite said that some of the crews had never used joystick controls, and that cable-control would be perfectly fine. The commissioners then agreed that Emerson and Hite should look at front-wheel assist mowers with cable controls rather than the joysticks.
    The commission also looked into its Bobcat mini-excavator lease. For roughly $900 more a year, the county could get an upgraded, brand-new machine with a new lease. Commissioners said they were interested in looking into the opportunity.
      • calendar