Brown County is about three weeks away from delivery of a brand new road grader and three new dump trucks.
Commissioners approved the purchases Monday in regular session meeting. The Caterpillar 140-H motor grader is going to Precinct 4, two of the dump trucks are for Precinct 2 and the third will go to Precinct 1. All of the equipment is being purchased new, and replacing equipment between 25 and 40 years old. Commissioners researched the purchases through the Texas Buy Board, which is a pre-bid system for state equipment.
“We did a lot of work on this,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Larry Traweek, “and what we found out is we could get a new motor grader cheaper than used. What we don’t want is to keep spending money on parts, that can easily get to be more expensive than something that’s new that’s under warranty and that won’t break down.”
The used graders Traweek found ranged in price from $185,000 to $200,000 and came without guarantees or warranties, he said.
The acquisition of the new grader is actually through a lease/purchase plan from Caterpillar. Its cost is $197,664.74, less a $20,000 trade in of a 1968 grader the county owns. Traweek said there is a buyback option on the 2007 grader of a minimum of $135,000 in five years, and the buyback could be more, depending on the condition and mileage of the grader.
The purchase price on each of the three dump trucks is $96,528.33, and Precinct 2 Commissioner Joel Kelton said the county would be getting $40,000 on trade-ins of several trailers and trucks.
“Some of our trade-ins are things just sitting on the lot that the county can’t use any more,” Kelton said.
The trucks are being financed through TexasBank, which had agreed to match the 4.85 interest other lenders had offered.
“I’m glad that worked out,” Kelton said. “I’m glad we could keep the note local.”
But there are also buyback options available on the trucks and Kelton said, after 36 months the buyback option promised 75 percent of the purchase price; 65 percent after 48 months and 50 percent at 60 months.
“That’s a good option, because what we’re trying to do is rotate out some of the older trucks and have newer equipment on hand,” Kelton said.
One county maintenance man works full time doing mechanic work on the aging county equipment, and that man is about to retire, Kelton said.
“We’re looking at ways for us to have fewer mechanical problems and less repair that can free up our workers to do the road work.”