In a continued effort to slash spending, Councilman Budding suggested that instead of ordering a brand new dump truck to support the City Street Department, that city staff look at converting one of their 10 year old bucket trucks into a dump truck.
Mr. Vagedes, the City Engineer looked into the proposal and the conversion of the truck would cost $86,000 to shorten the bucket-truck’s wheelbase, eliminate the buckets, arms, hydraulics, replace the engine, transmission and then add a dump, plow, lights, spreader (for salt) and new hood. Vagedes stated that the converted vehicle would somewhat resemble a dump truck, but in his opinion the vehicle would still not have the gross weight to adequately haul salt and push snow as a real dump truck would. The quote for the new dump truck came in at $108,000 after trade-in. This amount was still over the budgeted amount of $95,000, but staff felt that if they auctioned the current vehicle off for $20,000 they could clear the budgeted amount.
In closing Vagedes stated, “while we could perform the conversion, it would still be a 10 year old truck, with increased maintenance costs and not enough horsepower to take the rigors of plowing and salting.”
City Manager Jon Crusey responded to a question from Mr. Gibson on how long has this replacement been in the works. Scott Vagedes responded for him, “Dave Collinsworth (Tipp City’s City Manager, 3 years ago) made the first request for replacement of the dump truck” which has received several welding patches to keep it in operation. Vagedes continued, “we had some problems with this unit this winter where we were out plowing and had a 100% electrical failure in the vehicle, we were able to get it fixed but are very unsure that we fixed it for good”.
The City Streets Dept. currently has (4) 2.5 ton trucks that can dump salt, and the Water Dept. has (1) 2.5 ton truck with salt spreader and plow. The City also has (3) 1 ton trucks with plow blades, one having a spreader.
The risk identified is that if the current dump truck is put up on auction, it could be purchased by another entity and leave Tipp City without a dump truck for the winter. It takes about 5-6 months to order and then receive a dump truck of that size/weight.
Council, unsure of how to proceed, decided to look into obtaining a short term lease for a dump truck with plow and spreader. The City Manager was unaware if there was any company that actually did that, but committed to look into it.