Jurors bulldoze equipment buy

The planned purchase of a new bulldozer for the Acadia Parish Sanitary Landfill was sent back to committee when police jurors questioned the need for the new equipment.

After a couple of months of tweaking specifications, the jury’s Landfill Committee earlier this month accepted the low bid of CLM Equipment of Sulphur for a new Case crawler bulldozer. The committee recommended that the full jury accept the $417,000 bid.

But juror A.J. “Jay” Credeur opposed accepting the bid and pointed out that the parish “spent $123,000 last year to repair the two dozers” currently at the landfill.

“They both have new engines and new undercarriages,” Credeur continued, adding that buying a new dozer for the landfill is tantamount to “throwing taxpayer dollars away.”

Juror Dale Trahan sided with Credeur in opposing the purchase, estimating that “another $35,000 would put both (dozers) in excellent condition — just like brand new.”

Trahan said lack of proper maintenance of the equipment by parish employees is the main cause of mechanical breakdowns at the landfill.

Julie Borill, a member of the Solid Waste Committee, defended the equipment purchase, saying the equipment is needed at the landfill.

“The taxpayers voted on a tax to take care of the landfill and if we don’t take care of it we’re going to have the taxpayers in here,” she said.

Alluding to the fact that taxpayers also later voted in favor of diverting surplus from the landfill fund to maintain parish roads and bridges, Borill said, “We cannot see the landfill fall by the wayside to benefit roads and bridges.”

Credeur also is a member of the Solid Waste Committee but was not present at last week’s committee meeting when the bids were accepted.

Bobby Kennerson, a representative of CLM Equipment, also addressed jurors.

He said technology included with the Case bulldozer will automatically inform the company when maintenance is required.

“If it’s something covered by the warranty we’ll send a technician. If it’s something to be handled by landfill employees we’ll notify Mr. (Robert) Hebert (supervisor),” Kennerson said.

Kennerson added that a three-year or 3,000-hour warranty is “standard” with the purchase of the new dozer.

But Trahan countered that the landfill puts much more than 1,000 hours per year on its equipment.

“You’re going to have about a year and a half on that warranty. Then what?” he asked Borill

Kennerson explained that an extended warranty is available, but that it was not included in the base bid accepted by the committee.

At that point, jurors decided to send the issue back to the Solid Waste Committee. That committee will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

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