Howard to purchase four new trucks for $1 million
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – The village plans to spend more than $1 million to purchase four new dump/snow plow trucks.
The Howard village board approved a motion Monday, Sept. 28, to purchase two tandem axle and two single axle dump/snow plow trucks from Packerland International and Monroe Truck for $1,079,644.
Director of Public Works Geoff Farr said the village, which hasn’t purchased a new dump truck since around 2012, budgeted $970,000 for 2020 and 2021 combined to replace four trucks, while the purchase of a mower for $85,000 would be delayed to help make up the difference.
“The village’s fleet is aging,” he said. “Our average age (for the trucks) is about 20 years old. Many communities are phasing out their vehicles when they’re about 15 years old. Our oldest vehicle here is about 25. You always want to keep your fleet, I guess, replaced reasonably well, because you are reliant on these vehicles for emergency service, slow plowing and timely service.”
Farr said older trucks “become more of a repair headache.”
“Replacing trucks is important to keep up the reliability,” he said. “We have expanded our fleet over the years, even buying some used vehicles at a time in order to provide timely service and quick service for our residents.”
Farr said the new trucks will be equipped to be more efficient, such as adding dual wings for plowing snow.
“We have roads that are about 37 feet wide, and typically they take up to four passes, two in each direction,” he said. “They comprise probably 70 percent of our roadways. With this dual-wing setup…the idea is to have only two passes, so on those streets we can potentially cut our time in half… Of course, that would only be on smaller storm events. If you had very large snow events, you couldn’t push that much snow.”
In addition, Farr said the new trucks would use direct liquid spray to stick better for salting the roads.
“The new technology is that you are adding even more liquid, so these trucks would carry about 500 gallons on, so we’d actually go to about roughly 100 gallons of liquid per ton of salt,” he said. “That’s supposed to speed things up even quicker.”
Farr said it takes about nine months to build a truck after it is ordered, so he hopes the village would receive the new trucks next August.
He said buying four trucks at once will enable the village to receive about a $9,000 discount from Monroe Truck.
Farr said Howard’s existing four trucks it will replace each have a trade value ranging from $4,000 to $4,500, but the village will seek to sell them for more than the trade-in prices.
Golf course profit
The board received good financial news on the operation of the Village Green Golf Course from Director of Administrative Services Chris Haltom, who reported the village-owned course is on track to have one of its best years ever.
Through the first eight months of 2020, Haltom said the course had a net income of $153,105.
“That’s a bright spot with the COVID issue,” he said. “A lot of people are playing golf… This could be a banner year for the golf course.”