After Questions, Twp. Okays Buying Two Pickup Trucks
Two vehicles with attached snow plows will be purchased through county cooperative.
The Bernards Township Committee voted on Tuesday to authorize the purchase of two equipped F-250 pickup trucks capable of snow plowing and other functions as required by the town Department of Public Works.
Township Administrator Bruce McArthur said the vehicles, to come with such equipment as an eight-foot snow plow and light beacons on the roof, replace two other pickup trucks that are 11 years old.
McArthur said the replacement vehicles were was requested in 2010, and the $57,960 expense comes from the capital improvements fund that was part of the 2011 municipal budget. The money is not being borrowed.
During the public portion of the meeting, township resident Todd Edelstein had questioned whether the age of the vehicles necessarily justified their replacement.
Township Committeeman John Carpenter said he felt that was a valid question, and asked the township professionals for input before the committee voted to approve the expenditure.
Township Engineer Tom Timko said the DPW, working with the finance department, tracks the cost of maintaining and fixing old vehicles versus replacement costs. The type of replacement vehicle needed also is discussed beforehand, with communication between the public works department, mechanics and the finance department, he said.
He added that snow plows for newer vehicles are not always interchangeable with the older trucks.
"I believe we are getting everything we can out of our vehicles," McArthur said. He said the recreation department often inherits the old trucks and uses them for hauling equipment, which is not as rigorous a use as snow plowing.
The trucks will be purchased from Winner Ford, at a price negotiated as part of a cooperative agreement through Somerset County, he said.