Looking for a few good deals

Town of HP might save some money

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

An opportunity may exist which could potentially save the Town of High Prairie boatloads of money.

On Oct. 5, during a strategy session, an idea arose which would see the Town buy fleet equipment at discounted prices at sales.

“Much of the Town’s equipment and vehicle fleet is reaching the end of its life and there appears to be some opportunities to purchase used equipment at discounted prices due to the depressed economy,” wrote CAO Rod Risling in a report to council.

“I like the idea of it because it’s saving us money,” said Councillor Brian Gilroy.

Risling replied the intent of the matter was to keep council informed of administration’s purchasing plans.

“Hopefully, it’s a huge success,” he added.

Council did approve $450,000 in the 2020 capital budget but administration is recommending only $250,000 for the pilot program.

Public works Supt. Vern Walker gave examples at recent Ritchie Brothers sales where a vacuum truck, similar to the one the Town owns, sold for $42,000 and a grader for $89,000. Both are far below market price if bought new.

Walker added companies were selling equipment in the fall to avoid payments, then repurchasing in the spring if they had work. The result was some very good deals.

“I believe this is an opportunity for us to improve our fleet and modernize our feet,” said Walker.

Risling’s report noted the program is not without risk.

“However, this risk can be minimized through researching the product through things like maintenance schedules.

“In addition, staff would need to travel to the location at an incurred expense to which a purchase may not result,” he concluded.

“And you might not get [buy] any, but you have to be ready,” noted Councillor Arlen Quartly.

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