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Lisbon rejects purchase of new loader, waits for next year

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LISBON — The Town Council on Thursday rejected a request by Highway Superintendent Timothy Dow to purchase a new loader for the town.

Mr. Dow requested the new loader in order to replace a 10-year-old New Holland with 5,400 hours logged on it.

Within the past 10 years, Mr. Dow estimates the town has put $15,000 worth of maintenance into the old loader.

In preliminary research, Mr. Dow said, he determined he could get $19,000 trade-in value for the old loader from Caterpillar and $20,000 from John Deere. Including the trade-in value, the price of a new loader from Caterpillar would be $67,000 and a John Deere would cost $77,000.

But the consensus of the town council was to avoid spending money on a new loader in the middle of the fiscal year.

“It should be in the budget for next year,” Councilman Alan D. Dailey said.

Mr. Dailey said the town Highway Department should be able to maintain the loader until January, at which point he would support purchasing a replacement.

However, Mr. Dailey said, he believes the town should solicit bids from other companies in addition to Caterpillar and John Deere to ensure they get the best deal for the taxpayers.

“It’s a lot easier to spend taxpayer money than it is to spend your own money,” he said.

Councilman Gary J. Jarvis agreed with Mr. Dailey, saying he would like to see the town hold off if possible.

“Because it’s running all right right now, I’d prefer to wait until budget time,” Mr. Jarvis said.

But Mr. Dow said he isn’t sure the town will be able to get the same deal on the price if it waits.

By next year, Mr. Dow expects the town will have logged more than 6,000 hours on the vehicle, pushing down its value.

Moreover, Mr. Dow said, dealers “want to be able to get that machine with as little hours as possible [and early enough] so they can sell it off again in the construction season. You stand to lose more if you wait.”

Without the support of the town council, the request was rejected.

“Towns should not be buying new equipment in the middle of the year unless it’s an emergency,” Mr. Dailey said.

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