YORK – Members of the York City Council had some detailed discussions this week over the purchases of two pieces of equipment that will be used by public works in a variety of departments.
One was for a Bobcat excavator from York Equipment. The base cost of the machine was $47,343, with the final cost being $50,264 due to the addition of an extended arm that was recommended by staff members in the city’s water department.
York City Administrator Joe Frei said the excavator would be a new addition to the existing fleet of equipment.
“It will offer more versatility, it is more agile and would be used more,” Frei said, referring to his conversations with public works staffers.
He also noted that this is a budgeted item for this fiscal year.
Frei also said the city garnered several quotes from various local companies and this was the low bid.
Councilman Ron Saathoff noted that the John Deere quote was less, at $48,000.
Frei explained that the York Equipment base bid was the lower bid – which slightly grew higher after workers recommended the extension arm.
“Well, it looks like John Deere has the low bid,” Saathoff said. “We aren’t comparing apples with apples here.”
“I run these machines every day, we need the extended arms,” said Councilman Jeff Pieper.
“How much was budgeted for this purchase?” asked Mayor Barry Redfern.
Frei said $50,000 was budgeted for this expense.
“I’m sure we are going to use this,” said Councilman Ron Mogul.
“Talking with the water guys, this is just so much more agile,” Frei said.
“We (in his own business) own three of these and they are so much more flexible (the Bobcat from York Equipment),” Pieper said. “We budgeted for it, we need to give the guys what they need to do their jobs.”
The rest of the council agreed and voted to approve the purchase.
The next purchase to be discussed was a Farmall 120C PS Tractor utility tractor from York Equipment in the amount of $62,000.
Frei said again that the city received quotes from local dealers, the Farmall was the low bid, and he addressed the comparisons between this model and one from John Deere.
“But I will defer to the John Deere expert,” Frei said, referring to Councilman Saathoff.
Saathoff said the “money would be better spent with John Deere, the Farmall doesn’t hold its value. It feels weird for me to say that, but . . . we just won’t get the longevity out of that Farmall. There’s a difference in quality and warranty.”
The Farmall model was bid at $62,000; the John Deere model was bid at $67,500.
A total of $90,000 was budgeted for this purchase.
“If we are buying this for long-term use, why not go with the better equipment?” asked Councilman Mat Wagner. “We have the money budgeted.”
“I wouldn’t go with Farmall,” said Saathoff.
“I’m not sure what my expertise is, but it is not this,” said Mayor Barry Redfern. “What is the next step if the council doesn’t want to do this?” he asked York City Attorney Charles Campbell, because the action item on the agenda was to approve the purchase of the Farmall as the lowest and recommended bid.
Campbell said the item would have to be brought back to the agenda, to approve the John Deere model.
Saathoff made a motion to table the agenda item (in order for John Deere to be brought forward as the recommended purchase) and the rest of the council agreed.