The Town of Bel Air is buying a new wood chipper, a piece of equipment the public works director says has become invaluable during storm cleanup.
The town commissioners approved the purchase of a Morbark Beever M15R chipper for $72,101 during their town hall meeting Sept. 4.
Public Works Director Stephen Kline said the new chipper will replace an existing one, acquired in 2005, “that has outlived its useful life.”
“It’s a must-have piece of equipment; it’s used almost daily, particularly needed for cleanup after storms,” Kline told the commissioners.
Town officials put $60,000 in the FY 2019 budget for the anticipated purchase of the chipper. Although the town will pay $12,000 more than the budgeted amount, Kline said the Finance Department would make up the difference from savings elsewhere in the budget.
Vehicle loan approved
The town board also approved a $380,000 tax-exempt financing agreement for major vehicle purchases with Howard Bank.
The loan will be used to buy public works and police vehicles as needed, according to town Finance Director Lisa Moody.
Moody said the town, which can get more beneficial rates because lenders to have to pay federal and state taxes on their interest owners, received proposals from seven financial institutions.
Howard Bank, which offered a 3.16 percent annual rate for the three-year term of the loan, was “the lowest responsible bidder,” Moody said, taking into account both the interest rate and other costs associated with the loan, the latter which were also favorable.
The town will pay $250 for loan processing and the escrow account interest rate will be 1.5 percent, Moody said. There is no prepayment penalty.