Washington County Commissioners agreed to finance the purchase of two new motor grader units at their meeting today (Tuesday).

Members of the Polish American Council of Texas and local residents with Polish heritage with Washington County Commissioners, after they proclaimed the month of October as Polish History Month in the county.

The court authorized County Engineer Ross McCall to purchase the new graders, each valued at $266,092, through Sourcewell, a state-approved cooperative purchasing vendor. The county will finance the units through John Deere at a 4 percent rate.

McCall said the county currently has five grader units and used to have six, but is working on reducing the number of active units because of fewer unpaved roads in the county. He said the most recent one was purchased in 2004.  He added the average useful life of a unit runs about 7,000 to 10,000 hours, and that most of the county’s current fleet is double that.

McCall said the Road and Bridge Department is working on rotating in new motor graders every five years, to avoid having to spend time fixing wear and tear. He said he plans to introduce the option of another new grader in 2021.

The county’s current budget for the motor grader fleet lineup sits at $237,000. McCall said he wants to stay within the budget, and even reduce the budget if possible.  He said, if the county utilizes guaranteed buyback, it would have equity in its equipment by the end of 2024.  Commissioners could then decide whether to purchase the existing equipment or roll over to new equipment.

The two oldest graders will be sold at what McCall said was a “conservative” value of around $50,000 each.

Also in court, commissioners:

  • Approved mass gathering and right-of-way permits for the Chappell Hill Scarecrow Festival Saturday and Sunday in downtown Chappell Hill.  They also approved the closures of Cedar, Poplar, Providence, and Sycamore Streets from 7 a.m. Saturday morning through 6 p.m. Sunday evening.
  • Approved a re-plat of tracts of land fronting Rolling Creek Road in Precinct Four.
  • Proclaimed the month of October as Polish History Month in Washington County.
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