The County of Stettler efforts to purchase two brand new roadside mowers didn’t go quite as well as hoped for, with fewer options and prices a bit higher than expected.
The decision was made by council at their regular meeting March 10.
Director of Operations Rick Green presented a report written by Quinton Beaumont, Assistant Director of Operations, regarding the purchase of two roadside mowers and arms for the Public Works department.
The report stated this purchase was budgeted for 2021, and $45,000 was set aside for the purchase of the mowers, for a total of $90,000.
Beaumont’s report stated the county received two offers, and both were over the $45,000 budget.
The first offer came from AB Ag Centre in Stettler for the set of a 2021 Schulte HX1000 and 2020 FLX1510, each quoted at $51,900 plus tax.
The second offer came from Flaman Sales in Edmonton which offered one 2021 Schulte HX1000 with Flexarm for $54,638 plus tax.
Green told councillors he was a little disappointed the county only received two offers and both were over budget.
Coun. Ernie Gendre stated the mowers listed aren’t great for mowing roadsides in Stettler County.
Green responded lots of Stettler County roads would be a challenge for any mower.
Coun. Les Stulberg noted that many tenders recently released by the Public Works department came in under budget, so even with this odd one out the county was still ahead of the game.
Green stated local dealers may have to pay more overhead such as freight costs.
Coun. Gendre stated, buying two of these mowers still doesn’t solve the steep ditch problem adding he still felt there were better options out there that would do the job correctly.
Coun. Dave Grover said he was concerned the offers were both over budget, and suggested Public Works buy one mower and spend more time looking for a second one.
Coun. James Nibourg said he felt it was too late to debate this topic now, as the purchases were budgeted for 2021 and springtime is arriving soon.
He added, large purchases require time to properly think things through and that other mowers even more expensive than the ones included in the memo.
Coun. Stulberg stated he liked the fact the low bid came from a local Stettler business, and made a motion to approve the purchase of two 2021 Schulte HX1000 with 2020 FLX1510 Flexarm roadside mowers from Alberta AG Centre in Stettler for $51,900 each plus GST, for a total purchase price of $103,800 plus GST.
Councillors approved Stulberg’s motion by a 4 to 3 vote, with Gendre, Grover and Reeve Larry Clarke opposed.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter