By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
The Town of Coaldale’s budget this year will include a new truck for the town’s fleet.
During their regular Dec. 11 meeting, Coaldale town council approved their interim budget for 2018.
Council unanimously passed a 2018 interim budget, based on last year’s approved operating budget.
The final 2018 budget will be approved in the spring after the town receives more information from the province.
Included in the budget discussion was the town’s 2018 fleet replacement.
Michelle Overbeeke, chief financial officer for the town, told council that the “exception that we’re bringing forward” was for a capital item, was for the replacement of a flat deck picker truck in the town’s fleet.
The truck in question is a 1998 Dodge one-ton flat deck truck, with a cable crane, mounted generator, mounted tool box and on-board hydraulics.
“What we found out recently, this week (before the Dec. 11 meeting), was that we actually brought this equipment used,” said Overbeeke.
“So it is very well used now at this point. It is over 20 years old, your parts are limited, now we’re actually having to go to the dump, type of things, for used parts, to actually get parts for it. The picker that they use is too light, and has actually become dangerous for the operators. There’s small repairs that are starting to add up, it’s rusted and spends a lot of time in the shop.”
At the time of the meeting, there was 254,440 kilometers on the vehicle, had cost “at least” $16,000 in repairs and labour costs over the last year and was considered to be very unreliable.
“It’s on it’s final legs. The last time I saw it, it was broken down just outside the town office here. We had to get it towed.”
The reason why a decision from council was being asked for now was due to the time it would take to get a new unit.
Tendering for the new truck would take up to one month, with chassis up to seven months and a build of two months, which would mean that it would be about ten months before the town would receive the new truck.
The town had brought the current unit in 1998 for $35,000, and it can be sold for $2,500-5,000.
A new unit would cost the town $75,000 — $50,000 for the truck chassis, $10,000 for a flatbed deck and $15,000 for a picker crane to be installed.
The costs will be a part of the 2018 budget.
Council unanimously passed a motion to approve the 2018 fleet replacement as presented.