New Waterford panel backs purchase of $67K excavator

NEW WATERFORD – The Finance Committee will recommend the purchase of a $67,000 John Deere excavator to village council after discussing the matter on Tuesday.

Administrator Fred Fink said the amount was almost some $27,000 less than from the negotiating starting point at Murphy Tractor & Equipment in Boardman.

Fink also looked at a Caterpillar model but decided that Murphy Tractor had a better maintenance program.

The tractor uses rubber cleats instead of steel, something Councilman Gary DeMarchis approved of by noting the rubber pads won’t tear up lawns.

The excavator will have a cab and be compact enough that it can be used around homes, Fink said.

Mayor Shane Patrone said it will be used to dig up water lines and install catch basins.

Fink said he had several operators run the John Deere excavator.

“They like it,” he said and explained the village won’t use it that much. He expected the track to last 10 to 15 years.

“I hate to see a piece of equipment that expensive sit around,” he added.

Patrone told council previously that, “We’re hoping it will pay for itself by not having someone come in and paying them.”

The village pays about $12,000 annually to dig up lines for repairs.

In other business, Solicitor Tad Herold and Patrone wanted to see if council members had any objections to responding to a letter from Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering Inc. which the village employed for a year to run the water and wastewater treatment plants.

Herold said while it wasn’t in the village’s interest to “open it up” for discussion, the explanations given by F&V on a bill “are not 100 percent what we believed the contract to be …”

He asked the committee to approve a letter that “affirms what we believe the contract to be.”

Patrone said they were asking for input and to see if anyone had an issue with the village writing back.

Herold said some items reported by F&V as routine were considered non-routine.

“I think they are misconstruing some of the numbers,” Herold said.

DeMarchis said, “I think it’s in our best interest to pursue this further” adding that F&V had given the village generalities and failed to fulfill what the village expected of the company.

Council President Bill Mullarkey said, “They just want us to go by their letter.”

Patrone said the discrepancy they saw amounted to “almost $14,000.”

In other business, the committee recommended to council that it advertise the sale of a building across from the Vittle Village that it owns.

Patrone said the property will have to be surveyed and put out for bid. The village bought the property with the rental property on it last December.

Patrone said the government wasn’t made to become a landlord.

Also discussed was the use of an intern as the wastewater plant and water plant.

Patrone said he thought it was a good opportunity and if it worked out the program could continue.