Town council approves bid for new mower

Waiting until winter to purchase a new mower ended up saving the Town of Stettler several thousand dollars after bids came in much lower...

Town of Stettler and Clearview School Board

Waiting until winter to purchase a new mower ended up saving the Town of Stettler several thousand dollars after bids came in much lower than the ones tendered in spring.

Council voted at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17 to purchase a new mower from Oak Creek Golf and Turf for a Toro mower at $77,870.50. Council had originally reserved $120,000 for the purchase based on previous mower costs.

The mower the town is looking to replace is a 2008 model with 2,471 hours of use, and a cost of about $2,000 of maintenance per year. The town’s newer mower, a 2011 Toro mower, costs half that to maintain.

The town received bids from Cervus Equipment and Oak Creek Golf and Turf. Cervus Equipment offered up a John Deere mower for $74,150.98. Both mowers come with a two-year warranty. A third bid was solicited from Future Ag., but the company declined to bid as they had no suitable mowers.

In the end, staff and council not only considered the price but staff comfort with the type of mower, making the slightly more expensive bid from Oak Creek Golf and Turf the preferred choice.

The prices offered by Cervus and Oak Creek came in at $20,000 less than tentative bids made last spring, so not only did bids come in well under the $120,000 slotted by the town for the purchase, but also much lower than expected.

Take advantage of Canada 150 opportunities: MayorBoth Heartland Youth Center (HYC) and Stettler Handi-bus Society presented their budgets to council at the meeting, with HYC asking for $40,000, and the Handi-bus asking for $20,000.

Council agreed to both requests, praising the organizations for their hard work and effort, as well as emphasizing the importance and positive outcomes of the programs offered.

HYC has received $40,000 from the town since 2013, when council elected to increase funding from $32,500. Prior to 2012, council only supplied around $4,000.

The money is well-used, according to Mayor Dick Richards.

“When we made the decision to fund this amount, we made the decision to have sustained funding,” he said. The programs offered by HYC are valuable and necessary, he said.

Council also said it was impressed by the efforts of the Handi-bus Society, which operates on a shoe-string budget and yet continues to provide rides for the elderly or otherwise disabled.

Ridership is slightly down this year, according to Cindy MacDonell and Judy McKnight, the chair and coordinator of the society respectively.

Last year, the society was able to purchase a new van for trips to Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary, and this year are looking at a deficit as it looks to replace aging tires on some of its fleet of vehicles.

Volunteers are needed in both organizations, especially men who want to be Big Brothers.

“We have one young fellow matched,” Winnie Bisset, HYC executive director, said. “We have 10 on the waiting list.”

Richards urged the organizations to take advantage of Canada 150 grant programs that have been created in a celebration of Canada’s sesquincentennial anniversary, as “they won’t be available next year because we won’t be 150 anymore.”

Town staff would be happy to help volunteer and non-profit organizations apply for these grants, especially as many have large expenses in the near future – either building maintenance or vehicle maintenance.

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