The council, at its Feb. 26 meeting, voted unanimously to pay $75,000 for a slightly used, 2006 Gradall XL4100.
Director of Public Works Albert Bridge said the Nueces County Drainage District, current owner of what he described as a tandem truck excavator with a boom, could sell the machine for twice that amount.
Bridge said the NCDD paid $400,000 for the machine when it was new.
“We’re very lucky to have this opportunity presented to us,” Bridge told the council. He said the machine could be used to dig trenches in a variety of situations and that it would be ideal for cleaning out drainage ditches.
The boom can also be equipped with a “thumb” that would allow the city to use it to break off limbs from trees that threaten some utility equipment.
Bridge said the “thumb” device that will come with the machine sold for $18,000 and it had only been used once.
The director told the council that Beeville has never had a piece of machinery like that. He said the equipment is so expensive that only the Texas Department of Transportation and some larger cities in the state have them.
Bridge said the only reason the drainage district decided to sell the machine was because they had recently purchased a larger machine to do the same work. The machine is powered by a Mercedes-Benz diesel engine with only 3,800 hours on it.
City Manager Deborah Ballí told the council that Beeville already has $65,000 credit in escrow with a state purchasing agency that could be used to buy the machine.
She said Bridge could come up with the additional funds in his operating budget for this fiscal year.
A number of employees from the city’s street department were at the meeting to show their support for the request.
In other business, the council voted to:
— Accept the plat documents for the Patel Subdivision under the condition that Director of Development Services Albert Vilches assesses the easement setback before the approval is finalized.
— Authorize the release of the $12,447.53 retained funds to the Brookefield Holdings, LLC for a city water line extension on FM Road 351 from the edge of the Walmart Supercenter property to Jones Road.
— Accept a report from Reagan Scott on how the Go Texan organization spent hotel and motel tax funds on promoting the 2012 Bee County Western Week Celebration.
Council members then voted unanimously to provide $40,000 in those funds to the organization to help promote this year’s celebration in October.
— Waive the $250 parade fee for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9170, American Legion Post 274 and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 929 for the May 11 Parade That Never Was.
— Approve a zone change request for property located at the intersection of Kennedy and Kathleen streets. The property owner asked to rezone the first one-family dwelling district to a duplex and apartment district.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.