The village of Sunbury, like most central Ohio communities, dodged a proverbial bullet when the blizzard of 2016 slipped south of Columbus.
But in more ways than one, Sunbury really did dodge a bullet. During the Jan. 20 Village Council meeting, Sunbury’s street department supervisor Brad Gerwig said the village has only two salt dump trucks for plowing snow. One truck is 12 years old; the other is 14 years old.
Gerwig asked council members to approve the purchase of a new truck, a 2015 Western Star 4700SB. The 11-foot dump truck with a stainless-steel under-tailgate salt spreader has a base cost of $87,458. Equipped by American Road Machinery for plowing and spreading salt adds another $49,931 to the sticker price, for a total of $137,389 at state bid pricing.
“To date we’ve had mild winter weather, but we’ve also had several down times with both trucks,” Gerwig said. “So far we’ve been able to fix the problems in-house and not had to send the repair work to an outside vendor. What I fear is a time when repair work will be of such magnitude that the repair will not be done so quickly or can’t be done in-house.”
Gerwig said he would prefer that both older trucks remain in the village fleet so a backup is always available during a severe winter weather event.
The Western Star purchased through Kinstle/Sterling Western Star Truck Center in Wapakoneta also offers a truck rotation program, Gerwig said.
“With good care and washing and 40,000 miles or less on the odometer, there’s a guaranteed five-year trade-in value of $75,000,” Gerwig said. “Next year the same unit would cost $6,869 more with the annual 5 percent increase.”
Fiscal officer Kathy Belcher said money for the purchase is in the street department capital fund, and council members agreed to have an ordinance drawn up to approve the purchase. That ordinance will be introduced during a Feb. 3 council meeting.
Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.