Fallowfield agrees to purchase two trucks
The Fallowfield Township supervisors on Wednesday agreed to purchase two 2014 trucks for plowing, salting and hauling.
The trucks – a Freightliner 108 SD and an International Terra Star SFA 4x4 – will cost a total of $206,173.
The price includes body and plow accessories and five-year extended warranties.
The smaller Terra Star will be used in tight areas that require better maneuvering.
“(Servicing a rural area) is harder on the trucks, and we go up to 57 miles out and back, so when you're looking at three trucks, they're used very heavily,” Chairman Earl Sadler said.
The board entered into a Municipal Finance Lease Agreement with Highway Commercial Service Inc. for a four-year loan to purchase the trucks.
At the recommendation of Supervisor Wilbur Caldwell, the board chose that option over a three-year loan. The interest rate is 3.64 percent.
“The total amount difference between three years and four years is $2,356. However the payment difference from one year to the next is $16,338, which is cheap money,” Caldwell said.
“That gives us $16,338 each year that we don't have to make payments ... that we can use for something else.”
Sadler said the township will use Act 13 natural gas drilling money and Local Share Account gaming money to help repay the loan. Money can also be used from the liquid fuels fund.
Although no one attending the meeting spoke up to oppose either the purchases or the loan, there were grumbles of “we can't afford that” as the board voted.
“That doesn't concern me. You want to use this (grant) money to the best your ability,” Sadler said.
“Your trucks should be replaced between every three and five years.
“Our trucks haven't been replaced for many years, and our cost to maintain them is getting so significant and the dependability is getting down so bad, we can't afford not to.”
Saddler said the road department's oldest truck is more than 15 years old.
Caldwell said the township has spent approximately $65,000 in one year to maintain its vehicles.
In other action, the board pushed ahead with its plan to design and construct a two-way bridge at the intersection of Bentleyville Road and Grange Road/Main Street – in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Bentleyville Interchange Improvement Project.
The board expects $1,455,000 in state money to arrive by Friday. Township engineer Carl Deicas and PennDOT will handle the initial design. The project will first require a hydraulic study, Sadler said.
PennDOT will eventually close the section of Bentleyville Road (also known as state Route 2033) from the Grange Road/Main Street intersection north to the bridge crossing onto Kennedy Road.
Traffic will be then be diverted along Grange Road and onto Main Street.
“Our bridge was getting out of shape. So in order to hold the extra amount of traffic, I requested the state would help us out on it, and they did,” Sadler said.
“These kinds of things have to be done first to expedite the Bentleyville Interchange (project). … This traffic has to be able to flow through here.
“So, the thing of it is, to keep your infrastructure open as much as possible for 911 purposes and for general usage.”
In other action, the board:
• Agreed to purchase 75 tons of red dirt infield mix for township ballfields for $4,435.
• Hired Stacy Smith of Smith Design Worx for $500 to improve the township website.
• Reissued a request for bids for No. 2 diesel fuel. No bids were received for the initial request.
• Tabled accepting bids for five types of road stone until more information can be gathered.
• Agreed to purchase 750 tons of asphalt from Hanson Aggregates Inc. for $55,250. It will be used to patch roads.
• Passed a resolution for the township to sell surplus items with an estimated value of $1,000 or less without board approval.
• Announced the next monthly meeting will be 6 p.m. April 17 instead of the normal date of the fourth Wednesday of the month.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.