DOBSON — Surry County will spend nearly $6,000 per month on a new piece of equipment at the landfill.
On Monday the county Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the Public Works Department to enter into a lease agreement for a new articulated truck at the landfill.
“You know one thing — they are expensive,” chuckled Commissioner Buck Golding as he addressed Finance Officer Sarah Bowen, who presented the request as the public works director was out of the country.
The two trucks that Dennis Bledsoe’s department uses have more than 10,000 and 15,000 hours, respectively, on them.
She noted they have been well used, and there is always at least one articulated truck down for maintenance. The county has spent about $60,000 to fix the two trucks over the past two years.
One operational truck is a necessity for operations at the landfill, said Bowen. However, Bledsoe keeps two so one can be operating while the other is being fixed. A second truck would not be necessary if the department had one dependable truck.
Bowen said Bledsoe had recommended a government lease option from Caterpillar, the company he regards as providing the best service based on past interactions.
Commissioners approved the lease unanimously.
According to Bowen, the county will take possession of the vehicle immediately upon executing the lease. It will make a monthly payment of $5,768.37 to Caterpillar for a five-year period. Throughout the lease, Caterpillar will be responsible for maintenance.
The truck also will come with a five-year or 7,500-hour warranty on major items, said Bowen. The truck is likely to reach the five-year mark prior to reaching 7,500 hours.
At the end of the five-year lease, the county may opt to buy the truck for a balloon payment of $91,120, according to Bowen. The total cost for the lease and then the balloon payment would be $437,222.
The government lease option will also allow the county to return the equipment to Caterpiller with no consequence should the funding for the truck become no longer available, added Bowen.
Bledsoe had planned to sell the two older articulated trucks, said Bowen, and he had expected to get $40,000 to $50,000 in total for the two trucks.
However, Commissioner Larry Johnson urged Bowen to rethink the sale of the two older trucks.
“I’d like to have a standby still,” said Johnson. “Maybe we could only sell one truck.”
In other business:
• The county board voted unanimously to send a resolution to state legislators urging the General Assembly to continue funding litter pick-up along state maintained highways.
Board Chairman Eddie Harris, who has spearheaded an anti-littering campaign in Surry County, said the state contract to clean up the roadsides has made a huge difference in the appearance of roadways in the county.
• The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) leases a building from the county, and commissioners approved a two-year lease agreement with the federal agency.
County Manager Chris Knopf noted the USDA has requested a long-term lease. However, the department has raised some concerns regarding the condition of the building, which is located at 220 Cooper St. in Dobson.
Knopf said he will work toward resolving those concerns so a long-term lease can be entered into by the parties after the two-year lease expires.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.