BPW approves requests to purchase mowers

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

While the grass might be covered with frost this week, Marshall Municipal Utilities managers are already thinking about the summer mowing season.

The MMU Board of Public works was asked to consider a pair of requests for new mowers at its regular meeting held Monday. Monty Chase, underground facilities superintendent, and Ginny Ismay, environmental services director, made the requests.

Chase told the board he wanted to replace a 1997 John Deere mower. The four-wheel-drive, front-deck unit is the oldest currently in use by his department. While the engine remains in good shape, the rest of the mower is showing signs of wear.

"We did have several breakdowns (last year). We expect to have more," he said. "They're run pretty hard in the summertime."

Chase said he plans to use the new mower year-round and its bid specifications will include a front blade to plow snow during the winter months.

Ismay had similar complaints about a six-year-old riding mower that has logged nearly 4,000 hours of use in her department.

"It's getting to the point where it takes an awful lot of repairs each year to keep it going," she said.

Ismay also noted MMU's wastewater treatment plant sits on a large, hilly and rough tract of land that would make it extremely difficult to mow with the department's push mower.

"That's severe abuse of a summer hire," she said.

Ismay also requested permission to purchase a new rotary "Brush Hog" mower. She said the current unit is in very poor condition and she would like to replace it with a smaller, more rugged model.

The board unanimously approved the requests, and instructed the managers to seek bids for all three mowers. The equipment has a budgeted cost of $31,500.

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