New dump truck not needed, some say
By ANNE LINDBERG
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000
KENNETH CITY -- The town will be getting a new dump truck, an expenditure the mayor and some residents say is a waste of money.
In a 4-1 vote, council members agreed to pay about $27,000 for an air-conditioned dump truck with automatic transmission for the town's public works department. Kenneth City Mayor Bill Smith cast the lone vote against the purchase.
The new truck will replace the town's 13-year-old dump truck, which has about 25,000 actual miles.
Council member Al Carrier, who is in charge of public works, had advocated buying the new truck because it would cost between $9,500 and $12,000 to repair the old one. Carrier said the clutch needed replacement and, most expensive, the dumper bed was rusted out.
Smith thinks the repair costs are exaggerated.
The truck bed has been replaced before, Smith said. In 1997, Kenneth City hired someone to weld a new plate to the bed and paint it. The cost was $550, according to town documents.
In May the town received an estimate of $1,045 for repairing the clutch and brakes.
Smith and others also questioned the need for the automatic transmission and the air conditioning, which added to the new truck's cost.
The farthest the truck travels before it reaches the town limits is a mile. That's barely time for the air conditioner to cool the truck.
Historically, the truck does not travel far -- about 25,000 miles after 13 years, or roughly 1,900 miles a year and 7.4 miles each workday.
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