LEESBURG — It was a brief yet productive meeting for the Leesburg Town Council Monday evening, Feb. 8. The council approved the trading of its current bobcat, utilized by both the street and sewage departments, as well as heard an update on the recent visit of a state auditor.
The discussion of whether or not the town should purchase a bobcat with a cab is not a new one. Instead, Council President Tom Moore and Street Department Director Brandon Queen have noted in the past that without a cab, the operator of the bobcat is left exposed to the elements and dust kicked up in the summer while sweeping. In addition, the operator must endure cold during the winter months while clearing snow throughout the town.
Moore noted he recently began looking into the viability of an enclosed bobcat, seeking a quote from the same dealer the town purchased the first model. Due to the water spray system on the current model, Moore noted the town is limited in its choices as many new models are not the correct size for the attachment. Though there were model limitations, Moore was able to find a preowned bobcat the town could potentially purchase — a preowned 2014 model with a cab that is the same size as the bobcat currently in use.
“Don’t think of this as an upgrade like you would your car. This is a piece of machinery. The ‘upgrade’ would be that it is a closed cab. This model has about 375 to 380 hours on it… It will perform between 6,000 to 7,000 hours of operation,” noted Moore.
After some conversation, the council approved the trade of the current bobcat for the 2014 model. Moore stated the cost would be approximately $15,000, which would tentatively come from the sewer fund.
In other business, the council heard a brief update on the recent visit of a state auditor. Though Vice President Doug Jones was unable to provide many details just yet, he was able to give a few preliminary suggestions provided by the auditor. Those suggestions included creating a sign out sheet for the town credit card; creating an annual employee/student count for the sewer department; and creating a sewer improvement fund.
In addition, Jones noted the auditor gave an “A+” review of Leesburg Treasurer Mike Searfoss. Jones stated the auditor told him the town was “lucky to have someone of his expertise in a town Leesburg’s size.” The council agreed Searfoss was an asset and commended him on a job well done. Further updates on the audit are pending with the state at this time.