The Plumas County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $125,000 out of a public works equipment replacement fund at an early May meeting after receiving an explanation for the request from Public Works Director Bob Perreault.
The director explained three major pieces of equipment had experienced significant failures since the beginning of winter.
Perreault’s background information on the agenda item indicated the engines failed on a 1980 flatbed truck and a 1972 tracked dozer, while the transmission broke on a 1973 tracked dozer.
The document said the two dozers were used in different parts of the county and would be replaced by a single, previously used piece of equipment that would “be sized appropriately to allow the equipment to be transported countywide without the need for transportation permits.”
A used vehicle will also be purchased to replace the flatbed truck.
The background information explained that repairing the existing equipment was not a realistic option, as doing so would make them fall under the California Air Resources Board’s diesel emission rules.
The document explained there might not even be technology available for making the required updates to these specific pieces of equipment, as they are old. Even if the technology existed it would be extremely expensive.
The background information also indicated the dozer replacement would lower the county motor pool size by one vehicle and put it in better standing for the diesel emission rules in the future.
Perreault told the board Public Works Deputy Director Joe Blackwell recommended buying used equipment and found suitable options in Northern California, but hadn’t chosen what specific pieces he would buy yet.
The background document also explained the replacement schedule has this equipment slated for 2018, but “failures of this magnitude cannot be predicted.”
Perreault also said the replacement fund would have an additional $125,000 left over after the expenditures that would roll over into the next fiscal year.
Quincy Supervisor Lori Simpson asked what the savings were on the used equipment compared to new vehicles.
The director said he couldn’t be completely sure, as the individual pieces to be bought weren’t identified yet, but he would guess somewhere around $1 million total.
After a few seconds of stunned silence from the board members, Graeagle and East Quincy Supervisor Ole Olsen made a motion to approve the request, and the rest of the board quickly agreed.
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