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Town votes to repair front end loader to use this winter

HOULTON, Maine — The Town Council voted Tuesday evening to repair a piece of town equipment in order to use it this coming winter.

The Komatsu front end loader needs approximately $37,500 worth of repairs, including new pumps. It lasted eight years before breaking down. During the Sept. 23 meeting, the town held an introduction and first reading of a plan to transfer the funds from surplus in order to repair the machine.

Public works director Chris Stewart approached the council about the Komatsu front end loader, reporting that one of the equipment operators was using it at the town gravel pit when it suddenly lost power. It was sent to Anderson Equipment in Bangor, where they found that both hydraulic travel motors had quit.

He said that the town has kept up on the maintenance of the machine and it has just 6,000 hours of usage, but the department continues to have issues with pumps in the transmission. The loader runs year round.

“We are getting into September, so I need to know where to go with this,” he told the council. “I believe that it is a good machine and we haven’t had many issues with it. Even broken down, it still has some value. I would estimate its value at $75,000 to $90,000 if we were to trade it in just as is.”

The council at first leaned toward selling the loader. Councilor Chris Robinson said that he was in favor of fixing it, and the majority of the other councilors leaned in that direction.

The council will make a final decision during the upcoming meeting.

On Tuesday, all councilors voted in favor of spending the money to repair the loader.

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