Town of Stettler administration presented a “pretty straightforward” request for council decision (RCD) during the May 2 meeting: approve the purchase of a new loader for public works.
The town’s 2023 capital budget had allocated $325,000 towards the purchase of a new machine, including the purchase of several attachments.
Given the cost of the purchase, the town put out a request for proposals on the Government of Alberta’s Purchasing Connection website which returned seven different proposals ranging in price from $243,000 to $365,000.
“There was great interest,” said Melissa Robbins, the town’s director of operational services during the meeting.
“A variety of manufacturers submitted bids.”
Of the seven bids received, five of them came in under budget and the town was able to test out them out.
“The XCMG and the Sany did not meet specifications,” said Robbins.
The three remaining brands were Hitachi, Volvo, and Case, each of which did meet town specifications.
Robbins noted that after checking with other municipalities which run the equipment and after hands-on testing with the town, the recommendation being made was to purchase the Hitachi loader for $293,000.
One of the town’s two existing machines would be traded in for a return of around $102,000 and the new machine would come with a five-year warranty.
Also included in the RCD was a proposal to switch the connections on existing and new attachments to ISO lugging from Cat quick attachments.
The new machine will feature ISO lugging for a connection point and, according to Robbins, ISO is the industry standard.
According to Robbins, the existing attachments are worth converting to the new system as there is “huge value” in the current equipment. The RCD estimates a replacement value of $175,000 against a conversion cost of $45,500.
In total, the expenditure to replace the town’s current 2013 Cat loader with the 2023 Hitachi will come to just over $300,000.
“We’re excited about this purchase and the flexibility it offers,” said Robbins.
“Many municipalities are moving to Hitachi because of the lower price point.”
Affirming its commitment to being a “film-friendly” community, the Town of Stettler Economic Development committee and the council have begun steps to lock in Stettler as a filming destination in the province.
“Filming in the community is one of the top goals,” said Lara VanLanduyt, the Town of Stettler communications director, during the meeting.
“Alberta is just taking off with the film industry.”
One of the first steps taken by the town to attract the film industry to the region is setting out standard operating procedures.
These procedures lay out permitting requirements, costs to the production companies, and both town and production expectations.
“It’s just a technical document at this point,” said VanLanduyt.
Council approved the procedures during the May 2 meeting, and the next steps involve building a website and ensuring Stettler location photos get added to the Alberta Film location library.
“There are all kinds of opportunities for our community,” said Coun. Gord Lawlor.
“I’m really excited about this.”