Better deal in 2023, M.D. council hopes

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The M.D. of Smoky River is taking a wait and see attitude in hopes of getting a better deal for its taxpayers.
Council decided at its Feb. 9 meeting to not buy any new equipment this year, believing prices will drop next year. The decision also gives council a chance to build its reserves.
Council was considering buying a heavy-duty tractor truck, two three-quarter ton pickup trucks, and an option for 2022 motor graders. Director of operations Kevin Cymbaluk noted all tenders received were over-budget.
Lease options opposed to buying were possible, council heard.
Adding to the issue was time of delivery during the current pandemic.
“Run them till they’re done,” said Reeve Robert Brochu referring to pickups.
“A farmer will buy them and put another 200,000.
“Wait a year,” Brochu suggested. “$68,000 plus is too high. I honestly believe we can run these longer.”
The rest of council agreed.
“The costs are too inflated right now,” said Jean Cote Councillor Andre Trudeau.
Meanwhile, Whitemud Councillor Raoul Johnson had a simpler response to the tenders.
“Build up the capital [reserves],” suggested Brochu.
Girouxville Councillor Alain Blanchette sympathized with staff who would have to run older equipment longer.
“I know that’s depressing, Kevin,” he told Cymbaluk.
“Do what’s best for the municipality,” Cymbaluk responded.

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