By Rhonda King
Staff Writer
rhonda.sentinel@gmail.com

The County Commissioners voted 2-1, at Tuesday’s meeting, to approve the request by Tom Kramer, public works director, to have Foley Equipment recondition the asphalt paver – not to exceed an amount of $94,454 without contacting public works for prior approval.
Kramer said a new paver had been budgeted for 2009. With the reconditioning of the existing paver a new paver would not have to be purchased, which will save a substantial amount of money. Kramer estimated a new paver could cost upwards of $300,000.
Commissioner Duane Patrick voiced his opinion on Foley Equipment performing the reconditioning of the paver over having it done in-house.
“I guess my idea is, if we did it in-house, at least we’d know if stuff was wore out, maybe we’d know how to tear it apart and get back and rebuild it,” Patrick said. “Otherwise, we’re going to end up with them again. If you don’t do any of the work, you’re going to end up in the dark just like we are now. If we’re going to have mechanics, why aren’t we going to use them?”
Commissioner Ron Loomis said rebuilding would be a lot cheaper than spending $300,000 on a new paver.
“A nine-year-old piece of equipment shouldn’t be considered that old – it’s not beyond where we need to trash it – so I think we should rebuild it,” Loomis said. “My disappointment is, when we blew the engine way back in November, we should of pulled the pan, pulled head and took a look to see which piston it was and replaced it and put it back on the road, temporarily.”
Commissioner Harris Terry said that buying a new paver versus repairing the existing one had been evaluated and discussed at length in a work session, as well as at the meeting and the decision was made to repair the existing paver.
“The idea is to get this thing just completely gone through, while it’s down, to where we have a machine that’s going to operate for another four or five years for less than half of what it would cost to replace it,” Terry said. “The issue is not whether we have the personnel out there to do it, but you’re talking 350-400 hours to get through it the way it needs to be done – something going to get neglected out there."
Terry added, “I think the best route to go is to go ahead and have Foley do that work for us and know that we are going to have a good operating machine when it comes back to us – and in a timely manner.”
In other business:
• The commissioners approved a resolution naming The McPherson Sentinel as the official county newspaper.
• Retail liquor licenses  were approved for the Lindsborg Golf Course, Rolling Acres Golf Course and Turkey Creek Golf Course.
• A request by Fern Hess, health department director, to write off uncollectible debts for a total amount of $2,929.57 was approved.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009.