Lewisboro Mulls Options for Replacing Vac Truck

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Town officials said they are in dire need of a new vac truck and are now mulling their options for finding one while keeping in mind budget restraints.

A vac truck is used to clean out basins and drains. The town typically cleans about 350 basins annually.

The current truck is nearly 13 years old and is in need of about $60,000 in repairs, said Highway Superintendent Peter Ripperger.

“Our truck is pretty worn out,” he said. “After 10 years, these kinds of trucks are pretty much finished.”

The cost of a new truck, depending on the model year, ranges from $240,000 to $285,000. Ripperger told the town board at its meeting last week that there are several options the town can pursue, including leasing a new truck for seven years at about $35,000 a year. A truck can also be rented for about $9,000-$10,000 a month and the town would use it for approximately three months

Lewisboro can also outsource the basin-cleaning job to a subcontractor to clean about 300 basins annually at a cost of $22,000 to $25,000 a year.

For the outsourcing option, Ripperger said labor would be included and the town would not be responsible for maintenance on the vehicle.

“If [outsourcing] didn’t work, you could terminate the contract and go back to purchasing a vehicle,” Ripperger told the board. But this would give an option to not make a large investment at this time and still meet the MS4 (storm-water program) requirements.”

Ripperger said if the town goes with the lease option, the truck will remain the town’s property at the end of the contract.

“It’s not like a personal car lease where you give the car back at the end of the term,” he said. “It’s a lease to buy. The interest is usually better and the rate is locked.”

Ripperger said it might be best to outsource the job for 2012.

“We need to see what we can do for less and get the biggest bang for our buck,” he said. “If it worked out, it could be permanent.”

Ripperger pointed out that whatever route the town choses to replace the old vac truck, the expenditures will be for next year’s budget.

“No immediate decision needs to be made on this just yet,” he said. “We still need to look at all the pros and cons.”


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