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Davison county commissioners buy front-end loaders

Two new Caterpillar Model 950K front-end loaders will be purchased for the Davison County Highway Department next year, completing a total replacement of the department's work vehicle fleet.

That brings the total amount of new vehicles to six for the department, according to Highway Superintendent Rusty Weinberg.

"They're pretty high-tech," Weinberg said. "They have GPS and we can track where they're at and monitor fuel consumption and idle time. They're very efficient machines."

At the Davison County commissioners' meeting Tuesday at the courthouse in Mitchell, the commissioners agreed to purchase the two loaders. In June, the commissioners agreed to lease-purchase four Cat motor graders to replace half the county's aging fleet of road maintainers. The motor graders and the front-end loaders are expected to arrive in January.

Under the plan for the front-end loaders, Davison County will pay $19,772.45 per year for five years for each machine to the Butler Machinery Company, of Huron. Matt Tobin, of Butler, represented the company Tuesday.

At the end of the deal, which includes a full parts and service warranty, the county is guaranteed a $160,000 buyback from Butler for each machine. If the county decides to keep them, it must come up with a $160,000 balloon payment for each.

"Looking at gas efficiency, repair time, oil, speed and efficiency, we think we're going to come ahead," Commissioner John Claggett said.

All of the Highway Department's old machines will be listed as surplus and will go up for sale in 2014. Weinberg said a total of six work vehicles will go up for sale.

The purchase of the loaders was a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Kim Weitala was absent.

The commissioners also approved Weinberg's request to advertise for bids for 15,000 tons of three-quarter crushed gravel for possible road-fixing projects next year. Weinberg said bids should come in at less than $100,000 and he is looking to purchase the gravel under this year's budget.

Lien release

Davison County Auditor Susan Kiepke said she needed the commissioners to release a lien on a home at Lot 6, Block 10, of the Van Eps First Addition, Mitchell, for someone who's selling a house.

The homeowner, Kiepke said, owes the county approximately $12,000 on a "care of poor lien" and could give the county $8,000 to $9,000 in profit after the home's sale.

The lien on the property needs to be released so a new person can purchase it with a clear title and the homeowner can pay off some of the debt.

The home is at 523 S. Lawler Street.

The commissioners voted to release the lien with the condition that profits will be paid to the county. Those conditions also had to be placed in the home's title work, Kiepke said.

Other business

In other business, the commissioners:

• Announced there will be no meeting next week, Sept. 17, while the commissioners attend an annual county government convention Sept. 16-18 in Spearfish.

• Approved the completion of the cleaning of the North Annex Building, formerly the Central Electric headquarters.

• Approved the installation of phones in the North Annex Building under an information technology contract with Tech Solutions, of Mitchell.

• Approved a plat property sale of Lot 5-A, owned by Kevin Kenkel, to be added to Lot 6-A, owned by Chris Konrad, as recommended by the the Planning and Zoning Commission.

• Discussed the construction of two strip malls being constructed near Walmart and Menards with Planning and Zoning Commission Administrator Jeff Bathke.

• Approved auditor's accounts with the treasurer.

• Approved bills and pay estimates.