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County road dept. to seek bids for new vehicle

Truck will allow county to chip seal roads

 


Cheyenne County is in the market for an oil distribution truck to replace its current vehicle that was manufactured in 1965.

At a meeting earlier this week, county commissioners gave the OK to County Highway Department Superintendent Doug Hart to seek bids for a used truck. This year’s budget includes $35,000 for that purchase.

“We need to find something more reliable than a ’65 Chevy,” Commissioner Philip Sanders said at the meeting.

The oil distribution truck will be used to spray a layer of oil on the surface of roads during the chip sealing process.

In an interview, Sanders said in the past years, the county has hired contractors to chip seal roads throughout Cheyenne County. With the purchase of a truck, the highway department will be able to complete the task itself.

“When you hire an outside company, you’re kind of at their mercy,” Sanders said.

Chip sealing prolongs the life of roadway surfaces and is most effective when applied during warm weather.

“Doing it ourselves, we will have to option to do it during warmer temperatures,” he explained.

The truck will also save the county money in the long run, Sanders added.

“No matter what you’re doing, if you can do it yourself, you’re going to save money,” he said.

While a new oil distribution truck can cost upward of a quarter million dollars, the highway department is looking for a used one.

“We want to find something that is safe that we can have the guys use,” Sanders said.

Other items in the highway department’s budget this year include an overhaul on a motor grader and the purchase of a new motor grader.

The overhaul is currently taking place.

“The one they’re doing now has 15,000 hours on it,” Sanders said. “And when they get it back, it will be like new – for half the cost of a new machine.”

In the coming weeks, commissioners and county employees will demo new motor graders.

“The newest one in our fleet is a 2008,” Sanders said. “We have to make sure we stay on top of that.”

$260,000 has been budgeted for the purchase.

Sanders said the equipment purchases will allow the county to better maintain roads.

 

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