The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners touched on several topics during a special meeting Monday morning (see related BoCC stories), including the spending of more than $363,000 on two pieces of equipment for the county’s Road and Bridge fleet.
The two equipment purchases will replace aging equipment and should, according to the commissioners, result in a costs savings to the county due to the expense of maintaining older equipment.
The first decision was to purchase a Class 8 truck cab and chassis from MCH Kenworth out of Grand Junction for $119,985.
The truck is a multiuse truck similar to what the county currently owns, and will be compatible with existing attachments (such as snow plow blades) that the county owns and new attachments the county may purchase.
Road and Bridge Superintendent Dave Guilliams said the county received five bids for the truck, each with options for a manual and an automatic transmission.
On average, Guilliams said, the bids for the automatic transmission were $11,000 higher than the bids for the manual transmission.
The bids for the manual transmission are as follows: Hanson International, $110,427; Peterbuilt of Grand Junction, $111,119; Transwest Freightliner, $118,568; MHC Kenworth, $119,985; and Wagner Equipment, $124,943.49.
Guilliams said staff looked at the bids in terms of warranties, specifications needed, and fleet standardization through a ranking matrix that assigned point values (such as more points for a five-year warranty than a one-year warranty) that allowed MHC Kenworth to be the apparent best bid.
While MHC Kenworth may appear to be the fourth-highest bidder, Commissioner Steve Wadley pointed out that he felt the bid was the best use of county resources.
Commissioner Clifford Lucero noted that the county is spending more and more money to maintain its aging equipment and was conservative with county funds in 2010 and 2011.
Lucero also added the importance of warranties for the equipment and praised the thoroughness of county staff in choosing a bid.
Commissioner Michael Whiting agreed with the purchase, but noted that public documents for similar purchases should include rationale on the purchases, such as the replacement of aging equipment to reduce maintenance costs.
The county budgeted $250,000 for the truck and attachment in the Road Capital Improvement portion of the Road and Bridge Fund, with Guillams noting that $120,000 was slated for the truck.
The second piece of equipment will come to the county through the trade in of a 1988 motor grader.
Guilliams said the county worked through a state bid for the motor grader that was awarded to Honnen Equipment.
That bid is for a cash price of $283,019, less a trade-in allowance of $40,000 for the county’s 1988 Cat 140G, coming to a total delivered price of $243,019 for a 772GP John Deere motor grader.
The county budgeted $325,000 for the purchase, Guilliams said.
In judging the state bid, Guilliams said county staff also looked at an Arapahoe County bid for a different brand of motor grader that cost more and was not as user-friendly.
Additionally, Guilliams explained, the new motor grader will have GPS capabilities that will allow for a data link with the office to help monitor maintenance requirements and fuel usage.
Guilliams added that the machine is also expected to expedite snow removal (dependent on the snow event).
Guilliams said the fleet has five motor graders running year-round, with an additional five running during snow events.