During a special meeting Wednesday, the Clay County Commissioners made its final decision on quotes for the backhoe, which were initially opened during the Jan. 3 regular meeting.
Three companies provided quotes, including:
* Diamond Equipment, Inc., Terre Haute -- $71,682 ($56,682 after $15,000 trade-in value on current backhoe),
* Holt Equipment, Co., Bloomington -- $79,800 (no trade-in value provided), and
* MacAllister Machinery, Terre Haute -- $69,500 ($57,500 after $12,000 trade-in).
With the difference between Diamond and MacAllister's quotes only $818 and each company offering a different brand of backhoe, the commissioners initially tabled the matter to review the specifications of each machine.
Commissioners' President Charlie Brown and Clay County Highway Superintendent Pete Foster met with each company recently and brought the findings to Wednesday's meeting. Diamond offered a Case 580 model 4-wheel drive backhoe, while MacAllister provided a Caterpillar 420E model.
"As far as the specifications go, everything pretty much balanced out," Brown said. "However, while both have a 12-month warranty, Diamond also has an additional 12-month warranty available for the drivetrain and motor. With Diamond also having the lowest quote, I would lean in that direction."
Commissioner Jack Withers then asked Foster his opinions on the matter since it would be his department utilizing the backhoe.
"When comparing them apples-to-apples, they are pretty equal machines," Foster said. "It basically see-sawed back and forth with one machine better than the other in one aspect and vice versa down the line."
Although the commissioners agreed $818 wasn't a huge difference in costs, they agreed to accept the lowest quote.
"With a tight budget for highway equipment this year, the extra $800 could help us out later in the year," Brown said. "Plus, we advertised for the lowest quote, and I feel obligated to accept it."
Brown made the motion to accept the quote from Diamond, which was seconded by Withers and passed 3-0.
Meanwhile, the commissioners briefly discussed the Federal Bridge Projects.
Brown said a potential issue regarding rights of way with Bridge No. 1 -- located on North Meridian Street, near County Road 1100 North -- has been resolved, with the county responsible for trenching in the area and relocating an electrical box.
For Bridge No. 84 -- located on East Pinckley Street, near CR 400 E -- the commissioners signed off on a Project Coordination Contract between themselves and the Indiana Department of Transportation.
The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Feb. 7, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.