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Linden eyes purchase of new backhoe

Linden Public Works Director Terry Tyson was granted permission to get quotes for purchasing a new backhoe for the street department during Tuesday’s Linden City Council meeting.

Tyson said that the department’s current backhoe is in need of repairs that are too complicated to fix themselves. Tyson has received a quote for repairs for $20,000 from Cowin Equipment Company. He also received a $10,000 quote from River City Diesel, but that does not include the price of a used transmission.

He was able to get a general price of a new backhoe, which would be approximately $78,000.

Tyson wants to purchase a new one so the street department doesn’t have to share with the utility department in case both departments need the machine at the same time or if two machines are needed for a project.

“If I had anyone working — let’s just say we were working in Pine Crest — we had a machine down there and we dug a pole out and we needed dirt or we needed asphalt, I’d have to run that machine back through town, and we’d have to get another scoop of dirt and have to town and do the work,” he said.

Tyson said that the street department may be able to fix it with parts from a salvage machine if the parts are interchangeable. The salvage machine would cost $7,500. He also said that he found a remanufactured transmission for $6,800 but was concerned given the short warranty offered.

“If they won’t stand behind it for more than six months, what have you got?”

According to Tyson, the City of Linden used to lease backhoes for three years at a time for $11,000 a year before purchasing one in 2007 for $60,000.

“If a machine will last you 11 or more years, when you divide it all out it’s not that expensive,”

Other items discussed by the council include the following:

• approving a Children at Play sign on Greene St.

• discussing placing speed breakers on Martin Luther King Drive. Tyson said that he would get prices on speed breakers and on the city putting them in.

• discussing adding two new streetlights on the corner of Lawrence Street. and East Coats Avenue.

• Councilwoman Jan Cannon introduced Barbara Cannon as the new city clerk.

• tabling a letter regarding giving a one-time bonus to retirees.

• entering executive session.

The Linden City Council meets at 4:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at city hall.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, May 19 issue of the Demopolis Times.)