Buster Brown

Catoosa County Public Works Director Donald “Buster” Brown discusses the purchase of a new excavator during the Nov. 5 Board of Commissioner’s meeting.

Catoosa County officials have approved the purchase of new excavator equipment for its Public Works Department for just under $400,000.

During the Nov. 5 Board of Commissioner’s meeting, Public Works Director Donald “Buster” Brown presented the bid recommendation and discussed how vital the equipment is to his department’s day-to-day goings on.

“This is a resolution to approve the purchase of a 2018 Gradall excavator,” Brown said. “The Public Works Department currently has a need for a Gradall excavator. The Gradall is utilized throughout the year for ditch maintenance, road maintenance, and debris removal.”

Brown explained that his department currently operates a 1994 Gradall that it has depended on for the last 25 years.

“It has exceeded its expected service life,” Brown said. “Tractor Equipment Company is the sole distributor for Gradall products in the state of Georgia and they have provided the county with a quote for a 2018 demo unit with 24 hours (of use) in the amount of $389,000. That is a savings of $24,200 on a new, unused unit.”

While discussing the bid, Brown added that the purchase would come from 2009 SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) funds.

Commissioner Charlie Stephens said a purchase for such equipment was approved in 2009, but that the Public Works Department diligently held off on buying a new one because the current vehicle was still in good shape.

“It was approved in 2009, but you’ve put it off as long as you could. You use it every day. I see you out on the roads, and I know it’s something you have to have,” Stephens said.

“It’s our primary piece of equipment for doing everything,” Brown replied.

Brown even recalled how important the equipment was during the aftermath of the 2011 tornado that ravaged the community.

“Back in 2011 that was really the only piece of equipment that we could use,” Brown said. “It’s something we use every day.”

Commissioners unanimously approved the equipment purchase by way of a 5-0 vote.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009.

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