Adams County road budget to increase $143K

Published 12:01 am Monday, September 5, 2016

NATCHEZ — While some Adams County department budgets are shrinking, the county’s road department is increasing approximately $143,000 in the next fiscal year.

But County Administrator Joe Murray said one increase is just moving salaries from sanitation to the road department and the other increase will help the county save money while keeping equipment updated.

Murray said the employees who are moving from the sanitation department’s budget work at the dump site, but they work under the direction of Road Manager Robbie Dollar, who also keeps up with their time.

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Murray said this is not an additional cost to the county, but a shifting of salaries from one fund to the other. The salaries are worth approximately $75,000 combined.

The new equipment will increase the county’s debt service approximately $68,000 per year, Murray said.

The county tries to get as much out of equipment as it can, Murray said, but the county gets to a point where it spends more to maintain something than it would cost to just get a new one.

Murray said the road department purchased four pieces of equipment on a lease-purchase deal. In three, five or eight years, the company will offer a guaranteed buyback rate on the then-used piece of equipment.

Murray said the county is using five-year buyback terms.

“That is what we are getting back into, buybacks on equipment to keep it fresh,” Murray said. “It’s better than running something into the ground for 10 years and then it’s not worth a dime.”

The four pieces of equipment purchased are:

-A Caterpillar grader for $218,000. The buyback value in five years will be $131,000.

-A Caterpillar loader for $161,000. The buyback value will be $103,000.

-A John Deere backhoe for $107,000. The buyback value is $66,000.

-A John Deere loader for $160,000. The buyback value is $98,000.

Using the John Deere loader as an example, Murray said it would cost $58,000 to operate it for five years.

“That is a good deal,” he said. “County and municipality equipment is desirable in the market because unlike private companies, we are not using the equipment eight hours a day, six days a week and driving it into the ground.”

The total road and bridges budget increased from $2.881 million in 2015-16 to $3.024 million in 2016-17.

Dollar could not be reached for comment.