Morrison County provides snow removal services to approximately 720 miles of County Roads and County State Aid Highways with a large fleet of tandem trucks.

The county normally budgets to replace one of those trucks each year, however, this year the Board has approved a request to purchase three used trucks in place of one new one.

Steve Backowski, public works director, said that the three used trucks would be extensively inspected and would come better equipped for snow and ice control than some of the county’s older trucks.

“I really feel confident that the units we’re getting will be good units that we can keep in our fleet for a number of years,” he said.

Purchasing one new truck could cost around $250,000, while a used truck may cost closer to $80,000 a piece. Backowski said the used trucks will likely be from 2010, an improvement, as the oldest truck in the fleet is from 2000 and 10 of them are older than 2010.

This winter, constituent complaints about road conditions were topics discussed at both the Little Falls City Council meeting and the County Board meeting.

Backowski said the three used plows can improve services for residents in storm situations because the equipment will allow for greater control when it comes to salt and sand application, as well as other removal efforts.

The county currently has 21 tandem trucks for its 20 route snow removal system, one that is a spare and six of which are used strictly for snow removal.

When it comes to the condition of the trucks, Backowski said mileage isn’t always the greatest concern, but rather the corrosive environment that the trucks are so often exposed to.

He also said that the county is currently on a 20-year rotation for truck replacement, but they are working to reduce to a 15 year rotation, meaning that a truck would be no more than 15 years old.

“Our fleet foreman stays in touch with dealers and from time to time good quality used equipment becomes available and what we’re seeing is that there are going to be some trades in 2020 that would allow us to update our fleet better than just a single unit would,” he said.

Backowski said the foreman, Randy Lundgren deserves recognition for the efforts and cost savings to the county, which was addressed at the County Board meeting.

“I really appreciate the fact that you guys are always looking for that because you guys save us money and that’s how we keep our fleet up at a lower expense,” said Commissioner Mike Wilson.

In other business Tuesday, the Morrison County Board of Commissioners:

• Elected Mike LeMieur as County Board chairman;

• Elected Mike Wilson as County Board vice chairman;

• Approved a 2020 legal printing bid designating the Morrison County Record as its legal newspaper;

• Authorized the board chair to sign a quit-claim deed for Bell Prairie Park proclaiming it to be maintained and used as a public use;

• Set a joint meeting with the Little Falls City Council Wednesday Jan. 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the County Board room.

The next meeting of the County Board is Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 8:30 a.m. in the Board Room at the Government Center.

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