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Commission purchases new equipment

The Emanuel County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously three times during Monday night’s meeting, approving the purchases of new motor graders, a spot truck for the transfer station, and a service truck.

Thanks to the 5-0 vote, the County of Emanuel will now have 10 new motor graders to service rural roads. This process, bidding out and purchasing new motor graders, is not new to the county commission; rather, it is undertaken every five years.

The county government received two bids as a result of this year’s request for proposals. John Deere offered the lowest bid for leasing 10 machines with equipment, which would cost $367,124.68 per year. CAT, on the other hand, offered a bid of $375,267,94 per yearly lease. The annual difference between the two prices yearly in lease payments would be $8,142,26 while the five-year difference would amount to $40,716.30.

Hearing this, Hugh Foskey motioned to accept John Deere’s proposal, the lowest of the two submitted for the comparable equipment. Desse Davis provided the second, and the motion carried without opposition.

The acceptance of that proposal included a full-blown comprehensive maintenance package as well.

Another piece of critical equipment purchased by the county commission was a service truck. This vehicle is used in the field to service motor graders, and the new purchase, should it be authorized, would have more features than the county’s current service truck, allowing it to be useful in the county shop as well. Again, two bids were received—one from Beck Ford in the amount of $157,000 and another from Peach State Ford in the amount of $143,876.

Davis motioned to accept Peach State’s low bid, James Canady voiced the second, and the vote fell 5-0.

Lastly, the commissioners purchased a new truck for the transfer station. The county does not currently have such a vehicle and has been making do with another truck from the existing fleet, which is now on its last leg. The County of Emanuel has been searching for a replacement for the last three months and finally found one that meets the criteria, a 2000 Ottawa with a 5.9 Cummins engine, a rebuilt transmission with a 12-month warranty, and six tires. The $18,000 purchase, according to County Administrator Guy Singletary, will be used to move trailers around the transfer station in preparation to be later hauled away by semi trucks, and the new vehicle, if purchased, should serve the county well for the next couple years.

Keith Thompson provided the motion to make the purchase, Davis seconded, and the vote was, again, 5-0.

In other news, Singletary outlined 10 vehicles that could be surplussed and sent to auction, should the board see fit to do so. Five of those were pick-ups from the road department ranging from early ‘90s to early 2000s models and had already been replaced in recent months. The other five were from the fleet that services the sheriff’s office and were either not useful any more or had repair issues.

With this in mind, Davis made the motion to, in fact, surplus these 10 vehicles and send them to auction. Thompson provided the second, and the vote was unanimously 5-0 once more.

The county usually reviews potential surplus vehicles three to four times each year.

In other news, the county, by way of another 5-0 vote, entered into a municipal election intergovernmental agreement with the City of Stillmore, the City of Twin City, and the City of Swainsboro, all of which have city elections this year.

For the past few years, the County of Emanuel has hired out its elections office’s time and resources to help these smaller city governments with their elections. In return, the county is reimbursed for that service. The agreements had already been agreed upon and voted on by each respective city prior to the commission’s vote on Monday night.

Canady made the motion and Davis seconded.

Other business items included:

• The reappointment of 40-year serviceman Mosco Dawkins to the board of assessors by unanimous vote. Davis made the motion and Canady seconded. When the floor opened for comments, Thompson thanked Dawkins for his commitment to serving for so long and the great work he has done in that capacity.

• Voted to put the chairman and vice chairman on 2-year terms as opposed to 1-year terms. Thompson enacted the motion, Foskey seconded, and the vote was 4-1 with Canady opposing.

• The reading of a letter from Emanuel County Sheriff Jeffrey Brewer regarding the developments in the stolen stop signs case. According to the letter, one man had been arrested already while another was being sought. For more information from the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office about this case, see page 7.

• The approval of two alcohol license applications, one from Tricia Conner doing business as McKinney’s Pond and another from Belinda Denmark doing business as Pat’s Country Store. Both of those votes fell 5-0.

• The approval of minutes from a regular meeting held January 19 and a workshop meeting held February 11. Again, the vote was 5-0. Foskey motioned for approval. Davis gave the second.

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