The City of Rushford Village is getting closer to making a decision on the purchase of a road grader. The large ticket item has been the foremost item among a list put together by Councilors MikeEbner and Chad Rasmussen, along with Public Works Supervisor Travis Scheck, months ago. The aim of the list was to determine the most pressing equipment needs and plan for upgrades, trying to create something of a rotational plan that wouldn’t leave Village taxpayers with sticker shock.
The city’s current grader is 20 years old and nearing on 5,000 hours, a notable benchmark for problems to begin occurring, according to Scheck. Two quotes for replacements were discussed in depth at the Tuesday, September 19 meeting.
The first rings in at $234,413 for a new John Deere 672G and new Little Falls Machine wing. The quote includes a $30,000 trade-in on the city’s 1997 Champion grade. State bid pricing is in effect for this quote. The second option, presented by Scheck, is a 2016 Caterpillar grader with an assumed 300 rental hours already logged. The quote from Ziegler is for $255,000.
“It’s surprising,” noted Rasmussen, regarding the lower price on the newer machine. “They must be looking to get rid of machines.”
Scheck added that he intends to fine tune some of the details of the quotes. “It might change in price a little, but not up or down by too terribly much,” he said. The quote from Ziegler expires September 30, while the John Deere quote goes until October 13.
Councilor Dennis Overland looked to clarify whether both bids were state bid pricing, noting that through state bids, the city doesn’t have to go through the specs and price out machines with competitive bidding. Essentially, state bid price suffices as competitive bids. It was suggested that a quote from Ziegler with a new Caterpiller would need to be put up to the city’s John Deere bid to qualify for the bidding guidelines.
“At what point in time would we want to make a decision?” asked Mayor Gordon Johnson. Scheck indicated he would have the numbers and details nailed down for the next council meeting.
In related news, the council unanimously approved a quote from Brown Tire & Battery for six, 14-ply Hercules tires for the city’s F450 truck. The $1,425 quote was noticeably lower than that of the Brown’s Kelly tire quote and that of competitor, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Scheck noted no qualms about using a newer brand name, suggesting he’d had good feedback regarding them.
The city breezed through much of the remainder of the agenda including discussion of a quote, sought out by the city’s engineer, Bolton & Menk, for the digging of a water line for Tyson Fresh Meats, east of 43 in south Rushford. That project, providing a new water source to the site, has been underway for some time as well. The quote, from Generation X, was approved by the council unanimously.
It was suggested that the city could tie the project into a topic of earlier discussion during the time for public comments. South Rushford property owner Josh Rasmussen is selling a lot to his cousin, Jason Rasmussen, for construction of a single family home. The property comes with a $9,000-10,000 assessement for a water and sewer line, according to Josh Rasmussen, who questioned whether any changes or reductions could be made.
The city engineer has recommended that the city continue with how the assessments were laid out. The sewer was installed some time ago on a 20-year Public Facilities Authority bond. Water was installed in 1986 and assessments placed on the affected properties. As there was nothing on the parcel, no assessments were applied during the 20-year time. Other similar properties that came on later, were subject to a catch-up fee. The city is considering seeking approval from the county to assess the assessment costs for the Goodrich Street property to current tax rolls, with interest, over a period of 10 years.
City Attorney Tom Manion didn’t feel the request was out of line and that it may likely be granted, in light of the new construction. City Treasurer Judy Graham, however, cautioned the council that it may be opening a can of worms by allowing the request. “It’s a capital improvement for you, not the Village,” she said.
Manion will check with the county and bring the item back to the council at the next meeting. Should the council move forward with it, a new policy will be put in place detailing the procedure and guidelines. Rasmussen hopes to break ground on the site mid-October.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, October 3, at 7 p.m., at the Village Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.