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The Times
  • Little Falls to solicit bids for lease, purchase of vactor

  • The Little Falls Common Council Tuesday evening unanimously passed a resolution to request bids for the lease or purchase of a 2013 vactor.

    When received, the city’s Board of Public Works will return to the council the bid it feels is in the best interest of the city, and if the bid is acceptable to the Common Council, annual funds for payment will be derived from the water, sewer and street funds.

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  • The Little Falls Common Council Tuesday evening unanimously passed a resolution to request bids for the lease or purchase of a 2013 vactor.
    When received, the city’s Board of Public Works will return to the council the bid it feels is in the best interest of the city, and if the bid is acceptable to the Common Council, annual funds for payment will be derived from the water, sewer and street funds.
    “The Board of Public Works has been requesting the replacement the last three years,” Mayor Robert Peters said during a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. “The city’s 2012 draft budget provided for a vactor purchase to be deducted from the water, sewer and street accounts. Unfortunately, it was eliminated in the final budget that was adopted. Hopefully, the city will be able to move forward with the purchase in 2013, because the vactor we have is about 15 years old.”
    The city’s current vactor was purchased under an eight-year lease agreement in 1998 and replaced a 13-year-old piece of equipment. The cost for the purchase was divided between the water, sewer and street funds and the payment was approximately $25,000 a year.
    Peters said during the past year it has cost the city between $8,000 and $9,000 to maintain and repair its current vactor — a truck that has a number of uses, ranging from clearing clogged pipes and storm drains to sucking dirt and material out of the ground for a hole.
    “In the very near future this piece of equipment could become a major expense to keep operational,” he said. “The present trade in value of the 1998 vactor is $25,000. Last year the trade in value was $50,000. By waiting a year the vactor lost $25,000 in value. Add in the cost of repairs and rentals and it comes to a $34,200 loss over a one year period. I cannot imagine what that cost will be if the city has to wait until 2014 to purchase a new one. This should be a priority.”
    He added the city’s water system is more than 100 years old and it is imperative the Department of Public Works and water department have the ability to quickly and effectively repair leaks to provide drinking water to residents. He also said the vactor is used to flush and clean the water system.
    First Ward Alderman Jeffrey Gressler said Tuesday evening passage of the resolution does not lock the city, Board of Public Works or the Common Council in to purchasing a vactor in 2013.
    “The purpose of this resolution is strictly to request bids so the city can get a better understanding of what is out there and what it will cost,” he said. “After the bids come in, the Board of Public Works and the Common Council will have the opportunity to review and debate the bids.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Peters said a 2013 vactor is estimated at approximately $300,000.

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