In order to get the best deal on a new utility tractor for the parks department, the city had to act fast.

Parks and Recreation Director Darren Dunkle told the park board at its Dec. 7 meeting that the city council had already approved the purchase a John Deere 5090M utility tractor and attachments. The council unanimously approved the purchase at its Dec. 4 meeting.

Normally Dunkle presents large-ticket purchases to the park board before the council votes so the board can make a recommendation. Dunkle told the park board he had to bypass that procedure in order to lock in the price.

The city agreed to spend $74,601.19 with Deere and Company, N.C., to purchase the utility tractor and attachments. The council has no more meetings scheduled for 2017 so, if Dunkle had waited until after the park board meeting to move forward with the purchase, the price could have changed.

The park board didn’t mind the change in procedure. The board retroactively supported the purchase.

Dunkle said the tractor is being purchased on an interlocal contract and the city will get a 21 percent discount.

The tractor will replace a 1991 model. Dunkle said the newer model does more for the city. He said it has more horsepower and can use Bobcat attachments for a variety of projects.

An added bonus, he said, is the tractor is strong enough to pull trams. During the annual trail day, the city sometimes has to rent or borrow a tractor to pull trams, but won’t have to anymore.

New Mower

Dunkle did follow the normal procedure with a mower replacement. He asked for, and received board support to purchase a new wide area mower.

The board’s support will be sent to the council who will vote on a contract at a future meeting.

The Toro GM 4000-D mower will be purchased from MTI Distributing, Berkeley, for $63,560.96 off the state contract. Dunkle said the city had $71,000 budgeted for the purchase.

Dunkle said the mower is similar to ones the city has purchased in the past. He said it will replace a mower that is in bad shape. That mower will be traded in for a savings of $3,000.

The older mower has been repaired numerous times, Dunkle said. Parks crews have applied numerous band-aids and it’s beyond repair now, he said.