Thursday January 24, 2013

HALIFAX - On Wednesday, the Halifax Selectboard held a special meeting to look at the bids it has received for a new town truck that will replace the one damaged in a fire last month.

Selectboard member Earl Holtz suggested that Brad Rafus of the Highway Department take a few days to look over the details for each truck that the town had been offered.

"I’m going to be comparing apples to apples," said Rafus. "But something might be cheaper for a reason."

About seven bids came in after the board announced on Jan. 3 that there would be a need for a replacement.

Rafus had already looked at the details of two trucks on the list of bids that had been labeled complete, which means the trucks have all the equipment ready to go for plowing snow.

The lowest bid for an incomplete truck had been $56,322 and the highest bid for an incomplete truck was $73,391. For complete trucks, the range was between $101,911 and $179,990.

Holtz asked Rafus if it would be possible to make a summary so the board could understand more about the process and how the equipment would work for the Highway Department. Rafus will be looking over each truck over the next few days and then come up with a recommendation for the board.

Selectboard member Edee Edwards mentioned that the town needs two trucks, "but we need one sort of now."

"We weren’t anticipating this," said Edwards. "I think this has been a surprise for us."

The town truck that had been operating as a plow for the winter caught fire on Dec. 29 on Jacksonville Stage Road . The insurance money offered is $54,000.00. It has been written off as a total loss to the town.

The second truck that the Selectboard anticipates the town may eventually need could wait until July 1. It most likely will go out to bid.

The board discussed the budget needing to be re-assessed since the truck fire. It will meet on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Selectboard Chairman Lewis Sumner asked that Rafus have a recommendation by then.

The old truck has damages that include ruined electronics, stressed front body and lower cab. The tires on it are still good as well as the axels. Rafus mentioned the possibility of buying a replacement for the town truck immediately from one of the bidders and then building a truck out of useable parts from the damaged truck.

He said he’d look into how much it costs as "a possible route."