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Supervisors reject bids for heavy equipment

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Sewickley Township plans to invest $200,000 in equipment, including a grader, backhoe and skidloader.

On Feb. 26, supervisors opened bids for a six-wheel drive grader to be used for snow removal and leveling gravel or newly constructed roadways.

Supervisor Wanda Layman said the township's 1974 model is unreliable.

“If we would have a heavy snow, we would be in a bad position if our grader would break down because it's so old,” she said after the board's regular meeting Feb. 20.

Two bids were received for a 2009 or newer piece of equipment, but were rejected at last week's special meeting because they lacked the correct paperwork, supervisors said.

A bid bond and non-collision affidavit are required with each bid, Supervisor Joe Kerber said.

“(Bidders) can conspire with each other to rig the bidding” without the documents, he said.

Another ad for bids will be placed in local newspapers in hopes that a suitable bid can be found.

Layman said a newer model will give township workers more confidence.

“We want to get one as new as possible with as little hours as possible, for as little money as possible,” she said.

The township authorized $207,000 in debt to also include the purchase of a backhoe after three 2013 models were approved for trail use by the road crew.

Sewickley Township's current machine, a 1997 model, has 7,000 hours of use and would cost $47,000 for repairs, which is about half the cost of a brand-new model.

New tires for the backhoe cost $4,000 alone, Layman said, so a better investment is a new machine.

Including a skidloader, the township plans to pay for one machine outright and finance the other two, she said.

“It costs us so much to repair them, then when you need them in an emergency, you're worried, ‘Is this going to break down on us?'” she said.

In other business at the special meeting, supervisors hired Roger Anthony as part-time maintenance worker at $10 per hour.

Douglas Loughner was also hired as a temporary recreation maintenance worker at $10 per hour on an as-needed basis.

Supervisors said Loughner would be called on to open and close Crabapple Pool as well as filling in for Anthony, if necessary.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at sfederoff@tribweb.com or 724-836-6660.

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