City OKs mini-trucks|[07/26/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 26, 2008

Four vehicles could arrive in a month

In an answer to rising gasoline costs, Vicksburg officials approved the purchase of four used, fuel-efficient mini-trucks Friday.

A pair of two-door and four-door Daihatsu Hi Jet Deck Van mini-trucks will be purchased from Holly Springs-based ATV Trucks.

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The two-door mini-trucks are 1996 models, will cost $4,800 each and have 45,000 and 54,000 miles on the odometers, respectively. The four-door mini-trucks are 2002 and 2003 models, cost $9,961 and $9,288 and have 34,700 and 45,000 miles. The mini-trucks average 40 to 60 miles per gallon and feature dual airbags, air conditioning and four-wheel drive.

The Japanese-made mini-trucks are sitting in a lot in Japan, said Vicksburg Purchasing Director Tim Smith, and could be delivered in as early as 30 days.

“You have to keep Customs in mind but, if nothing goes wrong, we could have them in a month,” he said. “We were lucky to get these four. They’ve become very popular with gas prices so high.”

The mini-trucks are not manufactured in the United States, and they are not available to purchase new.

“If they’re successful, then we’re going to start moving as many vehicles that don’t have to be pulling big stuff into this direction,” said Mayor Laurence Leyens. “I think we’re doing the right thing.”

The trucks will be used in the landscape, recreational and community services departments. In addition to adding the mini-trucks to the city fleet of vehicles, Leyens said he is urging all department heads to find additional ways to reduce gas costs.

“Nobody should be leaving their vehicles sitting idling anymore,” he said, for example. “The best way to ride through this recession is to dramatically change the way we do business, and the vehicles we do our business in.”

On the agendaAlso during Friday’s meeting, the mayor and aldermen:Recognized three city employees for their length of service, including Sandra Stinson for 35 years with the accounting department, Calvin Hearn for 15 years with the inspection department, Kenneth Sharp for five years with the inspection department and Virginia Hynum for 15 years with the gas department.Awarded a bid on concrete to MMC Material Inc. of Vicksburg in the amount of $95 per every three yards of 3,500 psi ready-mix concrete. Seventeen other line item bids for concrete materials were also approved.Awarded a bid on 95 landscaping plants and supplies to Flowers Center Nursery of Vicksburg.Awarded a bid on Riverfront Park, Art Park at Catfish Row and Crawford Street maintenance to Eagle Eye Enterprises of Redwood for $200 per cutting, $10 per watering, $10 per pest control application, $65 for trash removal, $650 per month for security and $10 per restroom locking.Authorized the city clerk to advertise sealed bids for landscaping plants.Received proposals from Atlanta-based Pinnacle Marketing Group and Tampa, Fla.-based Force 10 USA for a proposed Central Business District Urban Renewal project on Willie Dixon Way.Received proposals for bids from four companies for the proposed fire station and terminal at the Vicksburg Municipal Airport. The board accepted proposals from Jackson-based Johnson, Bailey, Henderson & McNeel Architects, Bell & Associates Architects, Furgeson & Associates Architects and Ridgeland-based Allen & Hoshall.Authorized the city clerk to advertise for sealed bids for phase two of the 2008 street paving program, which will include Drummond Street and Bazinsky Road.Authorized an amendment to the agreement for engineering services with ABMB Engineers for rough grading project.Approved a $160 advertising request from the St. Aloysius “A” Club for the 2008 Flashes football program.Approved a $150 advertising request from the Vicksburg High School Football Club.Approved two budget amendments – a transfer of $5,000 from landscaping services to waterfront services, and a $43,000 transfer from administrative services to ambulance services.Authorized advertising BancorpSouth Equipment Finance for bid financing on equipment purchases.Approved an ordinance to conduct all necessary inspections in one visit for privilege license applicants.Granted an ad valorem tax exemption for Cappaert Manufactured Housing Inc.Authorized a leasing agreement with Unitech for a Cannon copier for the engineering department.Added street department employee Albert Williams and animal control department Leighton Thomas to the employee driving list.Approved the purchase of two police vehicles from Rogers Dabbs Chevrolet for $36,000.Approved the claims docket.Approved reports on the monthly tax collection, marshal, privilege license and city sexton.In executive session, the board:Approved longevity raises for two inspections department employees and one gas department employee.Approved four pay adjustment for fire department employees.The next board meeting will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 4.