Meridian Star

February 5, 2013

New county equipment will aid in debris removal

By Terri Ferguson Smith /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     County residents will have the opportunity to have tree limbs and other yard debris picked up when a new piece of equipment arrives.

    The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to accept a bid from Waters International Trucks for a new Knuckleboom Loader for $113,985.

    This is the first time Lauderdale County will have this type of equipment, according to Harris Wilder, county road manager.

    "When we get the truck, you can call us and tell us where you have a pile of debris — where you've cut tree limbs and piled up debris," Wilder said. "We'll bring the truck and pick it up from along the road and right-of-ways."

    Although Waters International had a higher bid than the other two companies that bid on the equipment, Waters was awarded the bid because the other two company's bids did not meet the specifications. The county asked for bids on a "wet sleeve" engine and the other companies, Watson Quality Ford, and Empire Truck Sales, submitted bids for a "dry sleeve" engine, Wilder said.

    "The wet sleeve engine holds up longer than a dry sleeve engine does. You can rebuild it cheaper than a dry sleeve engine," Wilder said.

    The Knuckleboom Loader will arrive in about 120 days.

    In another matter, District 2 Supervisor Wayman Newell said there are problems related to a new bridge on Smithsburg Road.

    The contractor has completed the bridge, but due to the recent rains, has not been able to lay the asphalt on the new bridge, Newell said.

    "The bridge is complete out there and the dirt work is complete. We are having some problems with some people going through and mud riding," Newell said.

    Mud riding on four-wheelers causes deep ruts, damaging the bridge's ramp.

    "I'm just asking the people who live in that area to please stay off that road and let's give the weather an opportunity to clear up and the contractor can get in there and finish preparing that road to be paved," Newell said. "The bridge is complete. All we've got to do is have some pretty weather and we can get that paved and we can reopen that road."

    The board also passed a resolution setting a policy with regard to taking in roads, at the request of District 3 Supervisor Josh Todd.

    "We do not take over a road unless it has five residential structures or more," Todd said. "It's not feasible for us to go in and take up a road that is three-quarters of a mile long and the upkeep on it ... for three residents."

    Newell asked Todd if this would be for dead end roads only or also for through roads and Todd said he wanted both kinds of roads included.

    The motion passed 4-0 with District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood abstaining.

    Norwood cast the lone dissenting votes in a series of votes approving a price change in dirt pit leases. The county buys dirt for road maintenance from several different pits and supervisors approved a price increase from 50 cents per yard of dirt to 75 cents per yard. At the supervisors' work session on Thursday, Joe McCraney, county administrator, said 25 cents more per yard doesn't sound like much, but it's actually a 50 percent increase.

    Other supervisors voted in favor of the motion to increase the price.