Boothbay buys $108k backhoe

Selectmen choose high bidder
Posted:  Friday, September 14, 2018 - 8:45am
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A persuasive argument by a John Deere fan resulted in Boothbay selectmen choosing the high bid for replacing an aging backhoe loader. Selectmen accepted Nortrax Deere’s $108,000 bid on Sept. 12 over low bidder Beauregard Case’s $97,300. Nortrax’s proposal included a five-year warranty and 3,000 hours of coverage. Case’s warranty came with an additional cost. For $1,400 more, Case offered a five-year warranty with 4,000 hours of coverage.

But Selectman Steve Lewis urged his two other board members to select Nortrax’s bid. Lewis is the Boothbay Region Refuse Disposal District station manager. The district owns a backhoe and loader which are both John Deere models. From his experience, the John Deere model was a superior piece of equipment. He described John Deere’s JD Link, a remote diagnostic and programming device, as like “Onstar, but on steroids.”

JD Link records equipment use such as number of times or how hard the brake is hit. Lewis said it was valuable information for understanding the equipment’s operation in diagnosing problems. “If something is wrong, I receive an email. They can diagnose the problem on the computer which saves a service call, and we’re usually up and running in no time,” he said.

Selectmen Kristina Ford and Dale Harmon agreed. The three voted unanimously to accept Nortrax’s bid. Nortrax Territory Manager John Paradis estimated the delivery date would be prior to the year’s end.

In other action, Town Manager Dan Bryer reported construction of the Park and Ride begins Tuesday, Sept. 25. Maine Department of Transportation hired Wellman Paving of Winterport to pave the Park and Ride lot. Earlier this year, the town entered into a 10-year agreement with MDOT to construct a Park and  Ride at the fire station. Under the agreement, MDOT is responsible for the engineering, paving, lighting and signage. The town is responsible for any other work. Boothbay hired Crocker Construction of Topsham for non-Park and Ride paving at the fire station.

“Wellman is charging $135 per ton (asphalt), and Crocker charges $72 so it makes sense to use a different contractor for our work,” Bryer said.

Selectmen are pleased with the appearance of banners hanging on the new light posts constructed as part of the Route 27 Redevelopment project. Fifty-seven light posts were installed with space for a banner. Last month, selectmen approved the Boothbay Food and Music Festival to place banners advertising the Sept. 20-22 event. 

“They look good and it really makes us look like a real little village,” Lewis said.

The town doesn’t have a policy for future placements. Selectmen are reviewing other towns' banner policies for guidance. Town officials want a policy which permits local organizations to publicize events that benefit the community.

Selectmen meet next at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 in the municipal conference room.