Helena-West Helena's city council wasted little time in making a decision regarding the emergency rental of a commercial sanitation truck during a special council session Wednesday night.
“It's been no secret that the council has been pushed against a wall every month due to the break downs of both the commercial and residential sanitation trucks,” stated Sanitation Director Bobby Jones.
Jones made presentations to the council on numerous occasions that his department needs new trucks. Despite lengthy discussions held at the regular monthly council meetings, until Wednesday no action had been taken.
A supplemental agreement was presented to the body that detailed the rental of a Mack front loader that would be rented to the city for $6,000 for a 2-week period. According to Jones, the city has paid more for a rental in the past before but he feels that the city should have “jumped on” the opportunity that was presented by Scruggs Equipment Co.
During a previous council meeting, Scruggs Equipment Co. parked a side loader unit in front of the city hall to give the council members an idea of what type of equipment could be leased. Ernie Carson, general manager of Scruggs explained that the front loader could be leased with a full 2-year warranty that guarantees a maintenance package and quarterly inspections to make sure that the equipment is running and operating smoothly and efficiently. Carson said with the warranty all future maintenance repairs would ultimately save the city maintenance cost.
Carson explained that the city could lease a new 40-yard front loader and a demo side loader for an estimated payment of $8,580.61 a month for both units for 5 years. According to Carson, the sanitation department was able to cut the route by two hours using the demo truck that was previously provided.
“You don't have to pay a down payment or a deposit, just the firsts month installment,” stated Carson at the previous council meeting.
According to City Clerk, Sandi Ramsey, the sanitation department is currently paying about $4,000 a month for repairs and overtime. The lease payment, she said, would probably wash itself of those problems.
Council members present unanimously approved the rental agreement with Big Truck Rental of Tampa, Florida. Future action is expected to be made in two weeks at which time the anticipated bids for a leased front loader will be discussed during the Aug 20 council meeting.
No ordinance was issued for the rental agreement.