Kneehill County approves additional $135,000 for equipment purchase

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Rising costs have prompted Kneehill County council to approve an additional $135,000, on top of a previously budgeted amount, to purchase three new vehicles--two tandem-axel gravel trucks, and a motor grader--during the regular Tuesday, June 28 council meeting.

Council had originally budgeted $570,000 in the 2022 Capital budget deliberations for the purchase of the three units, however, when bids were received, the total came back at just under $630,000.

Director of Infrastructure Mike Ziehr noted the current grader in use has about 10,500 hours, which is beginning to exceed “a comfortable lifespan.” He added the unit is beginning to show signs of wear on the transmission, which is a known issue that can happen around the 10,000 hour mark, and replacing the unit will help prevent expensive repairs in the future.

The tandem-axel trucks, which were purchased in 2011 and 2012, both have over 360,000 kilometres. There are rust issues on one of the units, and a total of 29 unscheduled work orders within a 12 month period on the second unit.

Mr. Ziehr shared a limited number of bids were received on these tenders; when some companies who had not bid were queried, they noted they were unable to meet the timelines outlined. He added, as it is, the units are not expected to be ready until between the end of 2022 and first quarter of 2023.

The other companies had timelines for around June 2023 and later.

Council unanimously approved the additional $135,000, to be withdrawn from the Capital Equipment Replacement Reserve, to purchase the three new units.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail

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