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|Gustav money comes, parish buys machine|
The Franklin Parish Police Jury welcomed some Hurricane Gustav recovery money at its last meeting and elected to save more by purchasing a major piece of equipment.
At a specially called meeting March 27, jury members approved the purchase of a new track hoe excavating unit with a six-foot clean out bucket to replace a similar 2004 model.
Scott Equipment of Monroe was the accepted bidder.
Total cost to the parish for the machine is $150,000, with the jury electing to save about $22,000 by purchasing instead of leasing the equipment. The deal also includes a $65,000 trade-in price.
Parish Superintendent Greg Humphries said the parish received the first funds from Federal Emergency Management Agency sources earlier in the week, about $34,000. He said following the jury meeting that the money was the first of about $1.5 million expected from federal sources to help cover the parish road and bridge costs of last September's hurricane-related storms.
Humphries said the process of purchasing some of the equipment needed to maintain roads and bridges in the parish is common.
In fact, the new purchase is a 2009 model Kobelco excavator, similar to the 2004 model with an extended reach of 37 feet, six inches. The greater size bucket will be used in regular maintenance and emergency work situations and will be able to accomplish more in less time that smaller equipment.
Two other factors were important in the purchase decision, weight of the equipment and distance from a machine servicing center.
Weight is critical when working under wet conditions and cost of service increases with more distance to service centers.
The jury also passed two resolutions at the special meeting, both dealing with procedures associated with Community Development Block Grants from the State of Louisiana.
The formality of the resolutions says, in effect, that the parish will abide by the rules of the agency granting the funds.