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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Instead of trading in the village’s Bobcat compact track loader after one year of operation, the Colfax Village Board has asked to find out the two-year trade-in value.
The proposal in the village board’s packet for the November 22 meeting would have resulted in the village acquiring a new Bobcat for $4,200.
The trade-in cost last year for the current Bobcat was $4,380, said Rand Bates, director of public works.
According to the paperwork in the packet, the village would obtain a new Bobcat from Bobcat Plus in Chippewa Falls valued at $77,328 for $4,200, which includes $49,314 in trade-in for the current Bobcat and a $24,810 municipal discount from Bobcat.
The village has been trading in the Bobcats annually for the past five years, Bates said.
The rationale is that by trading in annually, the village does not end up paying for maintenance or replacement parts. Eventually, when operating an old machine with many hours on it, the village could pay more for repairs every year than it would cost to replace the machine annually when the trade-in value is high.
The current Bobcat has 93 hours on it, although for the past few years, the machines have had about 200 hours on them, Bates said.
This Bobcat has fewer hours than the previous years because there was not much snow last year, he noted.
The “life” of a Bobcat with tracks is 1,600 hours, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.
For the first several years of trade-ins, the cost was about $2,500 for a new Bobcat, but the tariffs increased the price to $4,500, Bates said.
In March of 2018, President Donald Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from most countries. Trading partners then implemented their own tariffs on goods from the United States. The result is that companies, municipalities, consumers and taxpayers are all paying more for machinery made out of steel and aluminum.
Instead of a trade-in of $49,000, what would the trade-in amount be if the village waited two years to trade in the Bobcat? asked Carey Davis, village trustee.
Bates said he did not know but that he could find out by calling the dealer.
If Bates could have the trade-in amount after two years for the next village board meeting, then board members could decide if they wanted to go two years, said Margaret Burcham, village trustee.
A motion to approve the trade-in for a new Bobcat for $4,200 was withdrawn.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved having Bates call the Bobcat Plus dealership to find out what the two-year trade-in value would be on the current Bobcat.
Voting in favor of the motion were Burcham and Davis, Village President Jody Albricht, and Village Trustees Anne Jenson, Jeff Prince and Jen Rud.
Village Trustee Gary Stene was absent from the meeting.