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Equipment purchases for streets, parks likely

The city's Public Works and Parks departments are considering buying some new equipment.

At Monday night's City Council work session, Public Works Director Jeff Lehman said the plan is to purchase a new salt truck for the streets and a front-end loader for the Parks Department.

Warm winter weather at the tail end of 2006 and a good year selling off old equipment at auction have allowed the two departments to explore the matter further.

"We recognized savings at the end of last year when we sold back some of the old equipment we replaced last year," he said. "We also recognized an $85,000 savings in the last two months of 2006 because of the weather."

Lehman said the savings came about because his department did not work any overtime raking leaves at the end of last year and didn't have much weekend or evening snowplowing before the start of 2007.

He said the loader and truck will be purchased off state bids.

"I believe the loader was $95,000, and the salt truck was $97,000," he said. "I believe the loader was listed at over $170,000, and again we're getting it for under $100,000."

The Council also heard a report from Dave Leathers, deputy general manager of the Board of Public Utilities, and engineer Chris Rogers on the progress of installing the city's new phone system.

Rogers said that the installation is nearly half completed and that the system should be up and running by the end of March.

A new voice recorder for the Police Department and changes in plans for the courts inside City Hall were cited as the biggest challenges.

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