The Ste. Genevieve County Commission last Thursday discussed how best to invest in new Road and Bridge Department equipment for 2020.
The commissioners and road and bridge foreman Scott Schmieder weighed the options of getting a mini-excavator instead of getting another backhoe.
The current John Deere backhoe will go back to the dealer in 2020, after five years of use. It has about 2,700 hours now and will probably have about 3,200 hours in it by the time it goes back. The buyback price — assuming it is in pristine condition — will be $58,000. A new backhoe would probably be in the $110,000 to $120,000 range.
A mini-excavator, though, would probably cost slightly more than half that amount.
The county also has a New Holland backhoe dating back to about 1995 that could be traded in to offset more of the cost on a mini-excavator.
Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson asked Schmieder if he needs two backhoes. Schmieder said that following storms he can sometimes use two.
Schmieder, though, listed some advantages a mini-excavator would have. It would work better than a backhoe in digging out bad spots of asphalt and for cleaning out ditches, since it is “more maneuverable,” he said.
One downside is that it would have to be hauled to the worksite, rather than being driven.
Nelson said with more roads being paved every year, the need for backhoes will continue to decrease.
The commissioners and Schmieder have also discussed the possibility of getting two new dump trucks and a utility vehicle, if another grant is obtained.
See complete story in the December 11 edition of the Herald.