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(MORE) LEGISLATURE STUFF - In a Buying State of Mind

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/23/24 | 2/23/24

By Michael Ryan

CATSKILL - It was pure luck or a stroke of financial brilliance but either way we mules of taxation are saving money as the result of actions taken by Greene County highway superintendent Scott Templeton.

Templeton, as part of his recent monthly report to the county legislature, got approval to buy several vehicles, a fairly regular occurrence.

It is not always the case, however, that the roads chief eases the fiscal pain by reducing the expected cost of those trucks and pieces of equipment.

Lawmakers authorized purchasing three wheel loaders, one excavator and one backhoe, doing so with a smile, relatively speaking.

“I’d like to say it was all planned out and genius but sometimes luck works out in our favor,” Templeton said in a followup phone interview.

“We usually end getting quotes separately for the departments because the timing just never seems to work out. It is one department but two entities. This time, we happened to have the same timing for certain items.

“We looked into getting a better deal. The numbers came back extremely good. We were able to package the wheel loaders and the excavator. 

This is the direction we like going,” Templeton said.

In addition to the combined price drops, the county was able to nail down some impressive trade-in values, further keeping the piggy bank fat.

Lawmakers said okay to two new 2024 wheel loaders for the Highway Department and a single wheel loader for Solid Waste.

“Two suitable CAT 926 High Lift - Next Generation wheel loaders with options, meeting all requirements are available through New York State contract from Milton CAT in Clifton Park,” the first resolution states.

The price tag for the duo is $186,761 each, minus $180,000 for the trade-in of two 2017 John Deere loaders, leaving a balance of $96,761 per machine, the resolution states.

A grant total of $193,522 will be paid upon delivery which is expected within two to three months, another bonus considering the extraordinary slowing of similar purchases in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.

Those dollars were already included in the 2024 county budget as were the funds necessary for the second purchase, a solo wheel loader for use at the Catskill Transfer Station single stream recycling center.

Lawmakers said yes to a suitable 920 CAT loader with options, meeting all requirements, likewise under State contract, likewise from Milton CAT, laying out the sum of $156,270, the resolution states.

Moving on, lawmakers gave the highway department the nod to obtain a 2024 Caterpillar 308 Excavator, with options, etc. for $137,601, again dealing with Milton CAT.

And lawmakers verbalized a thumbs-up on securing a 2024 backhoe loader for the Solid Waste department, putting it to work at the transfer station in the town of Windham.

Milton CAT was again the agent, selling the CAT 415 unit for $109,196, payable by county treasurer Peter Markou upon delivery.

Templeton, while pleased as a pecuniary fiddle, was not fully satisfied, saying, “we weren’t able to get any value on a trade-in for the current backhoe in Windham, a perfect example of waiting too long.

“We’ll put it in auction to see if we can get any return and we’ve already changed our policy of running our machines until there is no run left in them, keeping our fleets more updated,” Templeton said.

The roads chief, while not indulging in self praise, did give a tip of the cap to garage manager Wes Benson, saying, “Wes is phenomenal, speccing out the trucks, making sure we get the best deals.”

In other matters, since they were already in a spending frame of mind, lawmakers also approved a request from Greene County sheriff Pete Kusminsky to purchase a new Jeep Grand Cherokee. 

A 2023 model meeting all the specifications is available for $38,525 from Sawyer Motors, based in Saugerties, the resolution states.

And because sheriff Kusminsky says it had to be done, lawmakers gave him authorization to buy five new Dodge Durangos for the department.

The quintet of 2024 cruisers is available for the sum total of $202,379 from Nye Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Oneida, the resolution states.

All of the acquisitions were approved in a Finance Committee meeting on  February 20 and expected to be passed by the full board during their February 21 regular monthly session.


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