Weston to buy snow plows

weston-snow-plowThe Weston Highway Department will get a new front end loader and a new snow plow truck this year.

The Board of Selectmen on June 20 unanimously approved allocating from the vehicle sinking fund $145,020.61 for the loader and up to $175,000 for the plow.

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said the creation of the vehicle sinking fund has saved the town money by allowing it to “push off” purchases and buy them when they are needed rather than at a pre-determined time.

“We’ve seen some significant savings because of the change in process,” Ms. Weinstein said.

The town currently has two front end loaders, with the newest being about 10 years old.

There was $200,000 put into the sinking fund in the current year’s (2012-13) budget for this purchase, but bids for a 2013 John Deere 544K came in slightly lower. The $145,000 price tag includes an addition to the base bid of about $5,000 for a back-up camera and a rear axle disconnect, and it includes a $2,000 communication radio.

The town will also get about $35,000 for trading in its 1984 loader.

One hundred seventy-five thousand dollars was put into the sinking fund in the 2013-14 budget in anticipation of purchasing a new snow plow truck, which, Ms. Weinstein said, will take about a year to build from the time it is ordered.

Bids for a truck that includes a plow, dump body, sander, and a communication radio have come in between $147,000 and $165,000. However, the selectmen opted to allow the town to spend up to the budgeted $175,000 in case the final cost ends up being more.

“We need to make sure our snow plow trucks are fully operable. We see what happens when they’re not. They are a very important piece of equipment,” Ms. Weinstein said.

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