County of Stettler approves backhoe plus other purchases

A councillor voiced his concern that acreages near town are discouraging business in the County of Stettler at the regular meeting April 14. ECA Review/File
Written by Stu Salkeld

The County of Stettler council approved the purchase of a new backhoe and more public works equipment at the regular meeting of council March 9.

First on the purchase list was a new wheel loader, and the results of a tender were presented by Director of Operations Rick Green. 

The county received five quotes from three different retail outlets, including Chinook Equipment of Taber (2018 Case 1021G with 3,300 hours on it for $243,000, or a 2016 John Deere 744KII with 4,900 hours on it for $265,000), Finning Canada of Red Deer (2019 Cat 966M with 3,630 hours on it for $430,000) and Brandt Tractor of Red Deer (2017 Deere 824KII with 6,764 hours on it for $325,000 or a 2017 Deere 824KII with 4,397 hours on it for $289,500).

Green noted in his report that the county has budgeted $250,000 for this purchase, hence there was only one vehicle that fit that number.

Coun. Ernie Gendre asked if the county has owned a John Deere 744 and Green answered yes, and it’s a good idea to try to keep the same equipment if possible. 

However, he noted the market for used vehicles is a little elevated right now. 

Gendre stated the 744 was only $15,000 over the budget, a small amount to keep the vehicles the same.

Coun. Justin Stevens noted the Case was newer, cheaper and had fewer hours on it. Councillors voted 6 to 1 to purchase the 2016 John Deere 744KII for $265,000, with Stevens opposed.

Track loader

Green presented the results of a tender for compact track loader, and there was a lot of interest: eight vehicles were listed from five different retail outlets. 

The lowest priced option was a 2020 Case TR270 with 1,600 hours on it and warranted until end of March 2022 for $61,000.

Green stated that he spent a lot fo time on this file phoning retail outlets to gather information and generate interest; he also learned that Kubota has a cost-effective machine available slightly over the county’s budget number of $70,000 for this item.

Looking at the tender results, Coun. Les Stulberg stated he preferred to go with local retail outlet Future Ag of Stettler, who offered a brand new 2022 Kubota SVL-65-2HFC for $74,500. Stulberg stated he preferred this vehicle because it came from the local business and was brand new.

Coun. Dave Grover asked what the warranty would be on that motor, and Green responded two years on the Kubota. Green added this vehicle will be largely used for finishing and detail work.

Councillors approved purchasing from Future Ag by a 6 to 1 vote, Coun. Paul McKay opposed.

Grader attachments

Councillors spent much time debating the options available to them for purchasing grader attachments. 

In his report, Green stated several attachments were found at a retail outlet called Capital Industries in Tisdale, Sask. 

The three items included a grader-mounted sod mulcher ($44,266.40), grader-mounted mower ($72,598) and grader-mounted gravel reclaimer ($73,800).

Green noted it was not easy to pin Capital Industries down and had some trouble getting responses from them. 

“The current intention is to restore and adapt a grader mower the County already has from past installation on a grader to the new supplied rear arm,” stated Green in his report. 

“Should this approach not be acceptable, mowing will be completed with existing mowers this year and the Capital Industries mower will be presented in the 2023 budget for consideration ($37,000 plus tax in 2022 quotation).”

Coun. James Nibourg stated it was his understanding the County would improve the mowing situation in 2022 and he added he wasn’t sure he could support another year of mowing as it was done in the past.

Stulberg stated he could support the mulcher and mower but felt the gravel reclaimer could wait a year. 

Coun. Stevens disagreed, stating he liked the idea of the gravel reclaimer. Coun. Gendre noted complaints from the public last year about grader blading and lumps of sod left on the road.

Councillors approved by a 5 to 2 vote purchasing the mulcher and gravel reclaimer, Nibourg and Stulberg opposed.

Loader backhoe

Lastly, councillors examined quotes for a loader backhoe, with four vehicles being quoted from four different retail outlets. 

The offers included headway equipment Sales of Lethbridge’s 2018 Case 580 SN ($108,562.50), Liftboss of Edmonton’s 2011 JCB 4CX four-wheel drive ($90,000), Rocky Mountain Equipment of Red Deer’s 2021 Case 580N WT ($154,900) and Brandt Tractor of Red Deer’s 2011 John Deere 310SJ ($79,950).

Green noted the county budgeted $110,000 for this purchase, and he recommended the 2018 Case from headwater in Lethbridge. 

Councillors unanimously approved it.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.