By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The next time it snows, the Colfax public works department will be ready.
The Colfax Village Board approved buying a new Bobcat T590 compact track loader from Bobcat Plus in Chippewa Falls at the March 10 meeting for $48,750 that comes with a 72-inch wide snow blower, a truck loading chute, an 80-inch snow bucket and a 68-inch low profile bucket.
The village board also approved the purchase of a used excavator attachment for the Bobcat at a cost of $3,500.
The Bobcat was almost $10,000 less than a comparable track loader from John Deere and included an extra bucket and the snow blower, noted Rand Bates, director of public works.
When purchased new, the excavator attachments are about $8,000, he said.
The tracks will make the Bobcat more maneuverable than tires, Bates noted.
At the February 24 meeting, village board members had discussed a used Skid Steer.
Unfortunately, used machines do not come with a warranty, and the village cannot get a municipal discount on a used machine, Bates said.
The municipal discount for the Bobcat was a little over $26,000.
The used machine that was a trade-in from Spring Valley was priced at $34,000.
The Bobcat sales representative had stopped to talk to Bates the morning of the village board meeting to say the company had taken in a used excavator and would include it with the deal for the Bobcat at $3,500, Bates said.
Annie Schieber, village trustee, wondered about a brush attachment for sweeping streets or sidewalks or brushing off snow.
A new brush attachment is about $5,000, but the attachment can be rented from Bobcat Plus, Bates said.
“You can rent just about any attachment you want from Bobcat because they have them in their yard,” he said.
The City of Altoona has the same model of Bobcat with the same snow blower and uses the equipment to load snow onto dump trucks, Bates said.
Scott Gunnufson, village president, wondered how the Bobcat would be used in the spring, summer and fall.
The mini-excavator will be useful now because the village has ten or 12 curb boxes that need to be dug up right away, Bates said.
The curb boxes are bent so much it is impossible to get a wrench into the box to shut off the water, he said.
Bates suggested that it might be useful to rent a broom attachment for the Sesquicentennial celebration in July so that Main Street could be swept Saturday morning before the parade.
Mower attachments are also available for the Bobcat and could be used to mow at the collection station and at the lagoons, he said.
“It’s endless what you can do with it,” Bates said.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to purchase the Bobcat T590 with the excavator for an extra $3,500 based on the recommendation from Bates.
The village board also approved dividing the payment for the Bobcat among four departments: streets, parks, sewer and water.