SALEM — The utilities commission approved the purchase of a new truck in its September meeting.
The department received only two offers for the purchase of the truck — one from Klaben Ford Lincoln of Warren and one from Stratton Chevrolet. The Klaben offer was $58,995 for a three-quarter ton four-wheel drive Ford F-250 with a utility body, while Stratton likewise offered $58,755 for a three-quarter ton four-wheel drive truck with a utility body. Utilities Commission Chairman Bob Hodgson said that while the bids were close in price, the Klaben bid included an additional $970 of equipment not included in the Stratton bid, noting it was already prepped to accept a snowplow.
Hodgson further said that they had compared the two offers, and the equipment options of the two vehicles and that the Ford had several beneficial options the Chevy did not, while only lacking the electric defroster present on the Chevy.
“We went down this thing line by line on every piece of equipment and the Ford does not have the electric defroster on the rear window, it’s not even an option. The Chevy does not have the beefed-up springs, front end, shocks, so we can’t add a snowplow if we need it; the Ford is also a chrome package which is a dressier truck, and it also has the back-up alarm on it that the Chevy does not. There were about four or five things that the Ford had that the Chevy did not,” said Hodgson.
Utilities Commission Vice Chairman Randall Malmsberry also was in favor of selecting Klaben’s offer, noting that should the department accept Stratton’s offer it would then need to have additional work done to meet the same specifications as the Ford.
“The Klaben bid seems to be significantly better in my mind because if you bought the Chevy, you’d have to pay for the aftermarket prepping to be able to hang a plow on it,” said Malmsberry.
Commissioners ultimately voted unanimously to accept the offer from Klaben and purchase the Ford truck.
The meeting concluded with an executive session for the discussion of personnel matters and ongoing negotiations, with no action to follow.
The utilities commission will meet next at 4 p.m. Oct. 19.