By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — The Elk Mound Village Board has approved buying a new gear box for the broom attachment for the village’s tractor at a cost not to exceed $750 to include shipping.
The broom attachment still spins, but when pressure is put on it, the gear box slips, said Mark Levra, director of public works, at the Elk Mound Village Board’s March 4 meeting.
The good news is there has not been much snow this winter and the public works department has not needed to use the broom attachment nearly as often as it was needed last year, he said, noting that the broom also is used during the summer to sweep sidewalks and driveway approaches to clean up before the streets are swept.
Levra presented four options for the broom attachment.
The first option was to purchase a new John Deere gear box for $1,200. Installation would be another $200.
The second option was to purchase a new Omni gear box that would work for the broom for $645, and Elk Mound public works employees would install it.
The third option was to buy a brand new broom for $2,980, which includes the municipal discount.
The fourth option was to do nothing now and use the blower attachment for the remainder of 2015.
With the broom out of commission, the public works department has been using the blower, Levra said.
So far, the village has already replaced the bristles, the shaft and the sprockets on the broom, he said.
“The only thing left to replace (after the gear box) would be the housing,” Levra said.
If the Omni gear box were to fail after two years, the village would have only spent $322.50 per year, said Andy Peterson, village president.
“(The broom) is five years old. It has a lot of miles on it,” Levra commented.
“It has had a lot of use so far,” agreed Tony Schrantz, village trustee.
Paying $645 for a gear box is “a cheap investment even for a couple of years,” Peterson said.
Levra said he had not yet found out what the shipping cost would be for the $645 Omni gear box.
The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved purchasing the $645 gear box with a “not to exceed” cost of $750 to cover the shipping.
In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board approved hiring Adam Gottschalk again as the summer maintenance employee at a wage of $7.25 per hour and not to exceed $3,600 total for the summer.
Levra said Gottschalk was an excellent employee and that another advantage of hiring him was that he already knew the job.
Gottschalk is available to start May 18, Levra said.