The Aberdeen City Council prepared to bid farewell to an old friend at its meeting Monday night, voting unanimously to make a city car and leaf loader surplus property.
The car is a 2000 Ford Taurus SE that, in the words of Mayor Michael Bennett, "has been driven by everybody in city government at one time or another."
"It's been around for a long time, and it's just at the end of its useful life as a vehicle," Bennett said. Director of Public Works Matt Lapinsky said the car had a blown head gasket and "probably a few other problems."
The leaf loader is from 2002 and has engine trouble, according to Lapinsky, and has been out of service for some time. The city purchased a new self-contained leaf loader in October that Bennett says is doing a "tremendous job."
"The bottom line is that the leaf vac needed a new engine, that's why we pursued what we did with the new self-contained unit," Bennett said.
Lapinsky said the city plans to scrap the Taurus because of its poor condition, and the leaf loader will be posted for sale and offered to other municipalities in the Maryland Municipal League.
The city also voted unanimously to award a contract for a single-axle dump truck for use with the Aberdeen Proving Ground's sewer and water systems. The truck is a 2013 Ford F-750 purchased from Norris Chesapeake Ford Truck Sales Inc. in Baltimore for $93,875.
Two other dealers were interested but did not offer a bid. The truck will be paid for with federal funds from APG.
"As the council's well aware, we own and operate the water and sewer systems on APG, and therefore we also own the equipment that we use to provide those services," City Manager Douglas Miller said.
Councilman Bruce Garner asked Miller if the city only purchases Ford vehicles.
"We put it out to anybody that can meet the [specifications], and the spec doesn't say it has to have a little blue logo on the front," Miller said, drawing chuckles from the rest of the council.
Lapinsky also announced that the Maryland Municipal Public Works Officials Association set aside some money left over from the Maryland Municipal League to be used as a scholarship for vocational training or college education in "fields related to public works."
The scholarship will be known as the 2013 MMPWOA Scholarship, and will be for two $250 scholarships to be awarded in July.
"Two hundred and fifty dollars isn't a lot, but it'll pay for maybe half a book or one small book," Lapinsky said as council members laughed. Lapinsky added that he had already sent information about the scholarship to Aberdeen High School and also plans to post about it on the city's website.