Marion Council votes for lease-to-lease agreement for bucket truck

By Patty Decker, Hillsboro Free Press

The Marion City Council authorized the purchase of a lease-to-lease electrical bucket truck at its Feb. 17 meeting. The vote was 4-1 with Councilor Jerry Kline dissenting.

After reviewing the bids, the council selected the Altec AT3GU fair-market-value lease with an extended warranty at $1,215 per month.

But Councilor Todd Heit?schmidt said the lease would be contingent upon documentation at the next meeting, scheduled for March 3.

He said his major concern was the lack of information about interest costs, maintenance and how much was needed to be put down so they could have compared the purchase option.

?One thing a lease does do is forces the council to act and make a decision,? Heit?schmidt said, ?and it?s not as if we are changing the whole fleet over.?

Prior to voting, Mayor Mary Olson asked if the city of Hillsboro has lease arrangements for any of its equipment.

City Administrator Roger Holter said Mayor Delores Dalke put their decision on hold for now.

?The (Hillsboro) council is still working through it to decide if lease-to-lease or lease-to-purchase is the way they want to commit on the long term,? Holter said.

Councilor Jerry Dieter asked about the budget.

Holter said the budget allows for $22,000 for an electrical bucket truck, but the same amount of money will need to be spent the next five years.

Heitschmidt said whether the truck was leased or purchased, the city would still need to budget for $20,000 a year.

Councilor Chris Meierhoff said the advantage of leasing a vehicle is that it keeps the fleet up to date.

Tim Wilcoxson, with Altec Capital Services, said the ever-changing market doesn?t bode well for keeping trucks 15 to 20 years.

Chingawassa preview

Dave Crofoot, representing the Chingawassa Days Committee, addressed the council about the entertainment at this year?s festival.

Crofoot said he couldn?t give names because contracts haven?t been signed yet, but he was able to talk in generalities.

?We have a big country western singer doing a free performance, and she has a record out,? he said.

Last year?s country headline act, Joe Nichols, will be playing at this year?s Country Stampede Music Festival in Junction City.

?We feel we are on the cutting edge with having these acts,? he said. ?The act this year is up for a country music award, and was on television about a month ago.?

Crofoot said the festival?s first beer garden didn?t lead to any violence or arrests for disorderly conduct.

Crofoot primary purpose for attending the council meeting was to present the beer garden information and have an ordinance ready for the council?s next meeting.

?The city had an agreement of understanding with Chingawassa and (the council) actually passed an ordinance in 2013,? he said.

Other highlights at this year?s festival will include children?s games, an anvil shoot, a pancake feed, entertainment day, a barbecue and more.

?Every year the program is getting even more expensive, and this year we have three or four new members,? Crofoot said.

Once the council approves the beer garden as a public event, Crofoot said the committee will apply for the malt beverage license.

Other business

In other business, the council:

— unanimously approved a request from Darin Neufeld, city engineer with EBH & Associates, to pay the material draw request of about $54,000 to Vogts-Parga Construction for the street project.

— approved the annual health insurance renewal contract as presented by Jennifer McCall with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

— met into two executive sessions to discuss non-elected personnel with Marion Police Chief Tyler Mermis. No action was taken when the public session resumed.

The next council meeting is at 4:30 p.m. March 3 in council chambers at 203 N. Third St.

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