published Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Jasper, Tenn., board OKs vehicle purchases

JASPER, Tenn. -- City leaders have approved buying two vehicles to help water department workers do their jobs.

The Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted recently to spend $6,400 to purchase a truck and a golf cart for the department.

Mayor Paul Evans said the city received an extra $68,900 in tax revenue that it was not expecting this year.

"I know you think we're spending a lot of money up here, and it is a lot of money," he said. "We're spending the money wisely. We're trying to do something to help our employees and save the town money."

Evans said Jasper's water department uses a 1997 Ford F-150 right now to drive around town and read water meters.

The truck only gets 5.7 miles per gallon and is in "pretty bad shape," he said.

Alderman Paul West said the current truck definitely needs to be replaced.

"Every time it goes in the shop, it's routinely an $800 to $900 repair bill," he said. "It has been for years."

Officials found a 2008 Ford F-150 at a state surplus auction for $2,800, which will be purchased to replace the older one.

"It's got 160,000 miles on it, but it's in great shape," Evans said. "There's not a dent in it. Before I do [buy it], it will be checked out. We're not buying a pig in a poke."

The board also approved the purchase of a 2008 gas-powered golf cart for $3,600.

Evans said the cart could be used by just one worker to read water meters in residential areas and gets 46 mpg.

The cart will have doors and a windshield, Evans said, but it will need a little work to be made "street legal."

City Attorney Mark Raines said Jasper will have to install some safety lighting on the cart "so people can see it."

"I thought it was a good idea," he said. "I thought it would save the town a lot of money."

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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