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Mountain View County's ag board budget calls for equipment replacement

Additional front mount ride-on mower eyed as there is increased mowing responsibilities and service levels in Mountain View County

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s agricultural service board (ASB) has recommended 2024 budgets for county council’s consideration, budgets that includes proposed replacement of machines used in the mowing program.

The moves came by way of motions at a recent, regularly-scheduled board meeting, held in person and online. The ASB is made up of county councillors and appointed public members.

“The county has a long-range equipment replacement schedule based on the anticipated lifecycle of the asset,” administration said in a briefing note to the board. “Before a unit is replaced an evaluation is performed to determine if the equipment is in need of replacement or can be deferred, keeping in mind that aging equipment may have a higher failure rate or increased repair costs which must be considered against replacement cost.”

The proposed 2024 ASB capital equipment budget is for replacement of existing equipment that has reached cycle replacement year or part of an annual replacement program.

“There is also a proposal to purchase an additional front mount ride-on mower as there is increased mowing responsibilities and service levels."

Proposed purchases in 2024 include replacement of front mount ride-on mower ($50,000), addition of front mount ride-on mower ($50,000), replacement skid steer brushing head ($65,000), replacement three-point hitch boom brusher ($65,000), replacement of bumper pull trailer ($15,000), replacement goose neck trailer ($50,000), and replacement of ditch mower ($22,000).

The total proposed capital purchase is $437,000 funded by equipment fleet reserve (without trade-in values). 

The 2024 agricultural service board operating budget calls for an increase of $37,066 from 2023’s total of $1,347,171.

“This is due to an increase of $17,538 to the roadside spray program to capture increasing herbicide cost,” administration said. “Other budget line increases are to account for increasing staffing costs to the program areas.”

Regarding right of way management, the budget calls for roadside spraying costs of $255,000, up from $237,462 in 2023, brush control (mechanical) of $111,069, up from $109,817, and grass mowing costs of $116,757, up slightly from 2023’s total of $116,073.

Regarding invasive plant management, the budget calls for weed inspection costs of $107,766, up from $105,405 this year.

Total town weed inspection costs total $21,123, up from $20,844 in 2023, while pest control costs total $32,095, down slightly from $32,524 this year.

During the Sept. 18 meeting, members heard that 13 producers participated in the twine recycling program so far this year, with 55 bags of twine collected. There are two more collection dates in 2023, on Oct. 6 and Oct. 20.

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