The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning. Director of Public Works Dale Housh said there was an accident near Hunter involving a county owned tractor/mower and a semi pulling an empty anhydrous tank. The truck was damaged, but no injuries were reported and no one was ticketed in the accident.
Housh said they received a low bid on a new backhoe from Foley Equipment on a Caterpillar model. He said they were only offering a trade-in allowance of $6,300. Therefore, Housh would like to keep the current backhoe and purchase the new unit outright and use the old backhoe for other projects in the county. It is a model 430-F2 with a price tag of $116,758.
The purchase price, approved by the commissioners, includes a five-year warranty and a two-year extended warranty for an additional $1,590. The backhoe will not likely be available until after the first of the year if they have to order the machine. Casey Frasier of Foley Equipment was on hand. He explained that Caterpillar is currently backed up on orders due to heavier than expected demand for heavy equipment this year. If they can find a dealer with a backhoe they could acquire, the wait time may be shorter. However, if the unit has to be ordered and produced, it may not be available until early 2018.
Housh also presented quotes on belly dump trailers from Classic Trailer Inc. of Springfield, Missouri as well as R&D Manufacturing in Tipton. The one from R&D is a little higher in price, but Housh said it is preferable as it is a 34-foot trailer rather than a 40-foot trailer. The trailers have the same 40-yard capacity despite the differences in length. He was in favor of purchasing the shorter trailer because it will be much easier to maneuver. The commissioners approved the purchase of the trailer from R&D in Tipton for $31,850.
Housh said work continues on the Tipton Blacktop bridge. He says rock has slowed the project completion time they expected initially. He said the bridge replacement will require another several weeks of work.
Mitchell County Emergency Manager Rick Horn reported to the commissioners on work he did assisting with hurricane relief efforts in Houston over a 12 day period in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey.
Concerns have been raised by county residents about the height of some grass and weeds in ditches that make it difficult to see and avoid deer. The commissioners said county crews were working in the areas of Glen Elder and Cawker City last week. They are continuing down toward Tipton and Hunter this week. Commissioner Chair Jim Marshall said they should be caught up in the next couple of days.