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City sets sights on equipment

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By Chris Sardelli

The city of Lancaster is closer to obtaining much-needed new heavy equipment.

City Council approved first reading Sept. 23 of an ordinance that would provide the city with a lease-purchase agreement to buy new equipment.

The proposed agreement, which totals $825,000, divides the requested equipment into two separate funds.

The gross revenue fund would receive $470,000 to buy a dump truck for $60,000, a front-end loader for $140,000 and a sewer jet vacuum truck for $270,000.

The second piece of funding, for the solid waste fund, would total $355,000. It includes $135,000 for a new leaf vacuum truck and $220,000 for a commercial front-end load garbage truck.

Jim Wilson, finance director, said the city generally acquires equipment in one of two ways – either by paying for it with reserves or, when buying major pieces of equipment like these, through a lease-purchase agreement.

This type of agreement allows the city to buy equipment and spread the payments out. In this case, it will probably be five years.

The city has not yet identified a financial institution, but Wilson said it is accepting bids from area banks and will most likely enter into an agreement with the lowest bidder. The most important factor will be the yearly interest rate.

"The proceeds from that loan would pay for the equipment and we'd pay it back over five years," Wilson said.

Wilson expects council will have more information from local banks in time for final reading of the ordinance at the Oct. 14 council meeting

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416