SANDGATE -- The Sandgate Select Board debated the merits of purchasing a one-ton pickup truck to supplement the road crew's current trucks during a special meeting on Thursday.
The town currently owns two 10-wheel dump trucks: A two-year-old truck and a 12-year-old truck. Chairman Jerry Hall said of the older truck, "like me, its not getting better with age."
Road Foreman Mike Hill, who was on hand for the meeting, at which the only topic discussed was the purchase of a truck, expressed support for getting a supplemental vehicle, which could be used for plowing and sanding, to extend the life of the older dump truck.
The discussion regarding purchasing a new truck began when a private company from Dorset offered to sell the town its lightly used two-year-old one-ton for $45,000. Selectman Tom Santelli, who looked at the truck, said, "It looks like the plow has never touched the ground," and described the bed of the truck as not having a ding on it. The price includes the plow and sander, which Santelli said could be moved to another vehicle once the town is ready to get a new truck.
Santelli also submitted bids for the same model truck, but new, from several area dealerships. The price for a 2014 truck, with plow and sander, was roughly between $65,000 to $70,000. Santelli praised the condition of the used truck, and said, "The only thing we're getting [with a new truck] is a 30,000-mile warranty," referring to the fact that both the new and used trucks come with 100,000 mile warranties, and the used truck had only used 30,000 of those miles.
Santelli also noted that, because of long waiting lists at the company that installs the plow and sander, if the town purchased a new truck, it would not be available until February, while the used truck could be purchased right away, and used this winter.
Hill said that it was important, based on the age of the dump truck, to have "an extra truck, in case one breaks down." Santelli also noted that none of the dealers he spoke with were willing to consider a trade-in on the 11 year old dump truck, which, according to Santelli, they said they could never sell.
There was some confusion between members of the board and Hill as to how much the town had available in its highway budget, and the board agreed that the town's treasurer would have to be consulted. The board agreed to vote to purchase a new truck if and when it could be determined that the money was available.
Select Board members Celeste Keel and Eleanor LaCross thought it would be better for future trade-in value if they purchased a new vehicle, despite the added cost, assuming the town had, as Hill believed, the money available. The board voted and decided not to pursue the used truck. On the new truck, however, Keel said, "We can't make a decision without the financial information."
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB.