City board discusses equipment for electric department
by Bobby Lee McCulley | February 5, 2018 6:22 am
Following an exchange of questions and answers between an alderman and the city administrator about a purchase request from the electric department, the matter was tabled until more information could be presented at the board’s next meeting.
During the Feb. 1 2018, Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, a purchase request was made by Sparta Electric System for a bed-mounted hydraulic wire-pulling machine. The bid price for this piece of equipment was approximately $43,776.00 from TSE International Inc.
“This was in the budget for electric this year,” stated City Administrator Chris Dorsey. “Basically, what this unit does is it sits in the back of a three-quarter-ton pick-up truck. We use it to control – when you’re reconductoring power lines. It controls the tension and speeds when you’re restringing the poles.”
According to Dorsey, since the city does not own this type of machinery, one has been rented or leased when this task was performed.
“This would be very useful for us [electric department],” stated Dorsey.
“What’s the average cost to lease that out?” asked Alderman Jerry Lowery.
“I don’t know,” responded Dorsey. “I would have to look – I can look that up for you. It’s been three or four years since the last time we leased one.”
Mayor Jeff Young responded about the lease cost by stating, “I can’t remember the exact number, but I do recall that the number being high.”
“How often do we do this?” asked Lowery.
Dorsey said because of the cost of leasing the necessary equipment, the electric department has only been doing this specific task every few years. Lowery said if city is going to purchase this equipment, the city really needs to have a master plan to justify the cost, to which Dorsey responded that the department does have an internal plan in place.
“I’m not against this, but if we are going to purchase this we need a plan in place [to use the equipment efficiently],” stated Lowery. “It would be nice to know what the lease was. If it’s $5,000 and we are only doing this every few years. We really need the number [cost of lease].”
Young then asked Dorsey, “In your opinion, is it in the best interest to purchase or to continue to lease?”
Dorsey said he believed it is best to purchase the equipment.
“But you have no proof of that,” rebutted Lowery.
Alderman Dr. Chad Griffin made a motion to table the matter until the next meeting when more information can be provided.
Lowery seconded the motion, and the board voted in favor of tabling the matter.
The board also:
-Approved a resolution allowing Sparta Fire Department to apply for a federal grant to purchase 10 sets of firefighting turnout gear
-Confirmed the solicitation of qualification for engineering services for the city’s $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to rehabilitate sewer services
-Discussed local sales tax collection report for the past 12 months in which eight out of the past 12 months reflected growth in sales tax collections within the city
Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen will hold its next meeting 5 p.m., Feb. 15, at city hall. The city meetings are live-streamed via SpartaLive.com and The Expositor’s Facebook page.