HJ - South 16th Street Repairs

Crews begin replacing damaged sections of concrete on South 16th Street last week. The work slightly altered traffic as work began on the inside lanes of the street, forcing motorists to be on the outside. This week that shifted as drivers were moved to the inside so outside lanes could receive attention. Work is expected to last through the week. The street was showing its rough spots in recent years only for last winter to cause even more damage to the popular thoroughfare through town. (Herald-Journal photo)

In preparation for another potentially severe weather, the city of Clarinda has purchased a new wheel loader for the Public Works Department.

The purchase of the wheel loader was approved by the Clarinda City Council during its meeting Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Clarinda City Hall.

“The current loader we have is 10 years old now and it’s really not big enough to handle our snow blower. Plus, it’s starting to have a few issues now. It’s starting to nickel and dime us,” Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon said.

Two bids were received for the wheel loader. The low bid approved by the council was for $109,269 for a Caterpillar with a $60,000 trade-in from Ziegler CAT of Des Moines. The other bid of $126,571 for a John Deere wheel loader with a $40,000 trade-in from Murphy Tractor and Equipment of Omaha, Nebraska.

“It is a piece of equipment that will be used every day. It’s very critical, especially for snow removal,” McClarnon said.

McClarnon said the purchase of the new wheel loader was included in the city budget for the current fiscal year.

Both companies provided the city with a demonstration loader to use on a temporary basis. McClarnon said, based on those trials, the workers preferred the Caterpillar.

“It’s a larger loader, so it will come with a larger bucket,” Public Works Director Adam Brown said. “There is also a coupler included in the bid.”

“So every attachment we have for our current loader will fit on this one,” Council member Jeff McCall said.

Also Wednesday, McClarnon informed the council new Iowa State Auditor Rob Sands is looking to implement various cost cutting measures regarding audit reports issued for cities and counties.

Each year, McClarnon said the city has a section of its audit called Management Discussion and Analysis. That section provides a summary of the audit.

“Those six pages cost us about $1,000 every year to prepare. The new State Auditor came in and said those really aren’t necessary. You don’t have to have it. The law doesn’t require it,” McClarnon said.

Therefore, the city council approved eliminating that section from the city audit.

“It’s redundant information and over time that $1,000 adds up,” Council member Matt Ridge said.

In other business, the council approved the annual street financial report the city must submit to the Iowa Department of Transportation. The report details how Clarinda used its Road Use Tax revenue over the past year.

Last year, Clarinda had total revenues of $719,823 and spent $492,510. Clarinda finished the year with a total ending balance of $740,253.

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