With just enough members on the dais to make a quorum, the Oakdale City Council authorized nearly $200,000 for the purchase of a new lawnmower and needed equipment for the city’s wastewater treatment plant to keep it functioning.
The quick-paced meeting without council members Tom Dunlop and Cherilyn Bairos heard three staff reports, all for purchasing equipment.
The first was the need for the purchase of a new wide-area mower and trailer to replace the city’s John Deere 1600 Mower and Trailer.
“The existing wide-area mower and trailer had a life expectancy of 10 years which it has now exceeded,” said David Black. “During those years, we experienced a multitude of mechanical malfunctions, breakdowns, and unreliable service from the dealer.”
Black recommended the city authorize $71,481.70 for the purchase of a Garton Tractor Mower and trailer for the Park Capital Facilities Fund.
The other two motions involved $17,925 for the purchase of a belt filter press pilot test and $92,000 for the purchase and installation of a secondary clarifier drive unit at the wastewater treatment plant.
According to staff, the money for the purchases was set aside in this year’s budget from the dedicated sewer fund.
Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer praised the staff at the city’s wastewater treatment plant, pointing out that they have to operate under, and remain knowledgeable of, many state and federal regulations.
Whitemyer invited the council to tour the plant if they ever get a chance.
“The wastewater plant is a very valuable asset that no one recognizes until it doesn’t work,” Whitemyer said.
“It may seem like we spent a lot of money tonight,” Councilman J.R. McCarty said, “but if you’re at home and can’t flush a toilet, you’re going to thank us.”