After seeing the money Sherman has saved with its in-house utility crew, the city is hoping to create similar savings with the purchase of more than $1.25 million in new equipment for the Street Department.

The Sherman City Council recently approved the purchase of two new dump trucks for $228,138, microplaner for $433,156, front end loader for $218,057, steel wheel roller for $58,150, wheel excavator for $256,878 and a palletized paint system for $60,999.98 through the Texas Local Government Purchasing Cooperative, commonly known as the BuyBoard. Public Works Manager Kevin Winkler detailed $1.9 million in equipment purchases during the city’s 2017-2018 fiscal year budget workshop earlier this year. He said the city still has a few items to purchase from that list in addition to the $1,255,378.98 of equipment approved by the council.

“These are several items we would like to purchase for the street department to enhance our efficiency as well as give us the capability to do some smaller jobs that we previously were not able to do,” Winkler said before the purchases were approved.

Winkler also previously discussed purchasing a concrete paver for $300,000, street sweeper for $250,000 and low-bed trailer for $50,000, but those were not included in the list of equipment approved by the council. At the budget workshop, City Manager Robby Hefton said taking on street work in-house could save the city around 50 percent of the costs of those projects. Hefton also emphasized to the council that the equipment to be purchased is expected to last for more than a decade.

“I’m excited for the fact that we’re taking on a lot of care of our own streets,” council member Terrence Steele said. “I think when we’re doing it, it not only brings more pride, but I think it gets done much quicker.”

Winkler said an example of the kind of street work the city will be able to do with the microplaner is already on display on Gallagher Drive on Sherman’s east side.

“I was able to get one of the people that we were looking to purchase from to come up and demo the piece of equipment,” Winkler said, explaining a microplaner was used on the westbound lane of Gallagher Drive. “You’ll see a significantly smoother ride on the westbound lane. And the time savings was tremendous.”

Winkler said work on the eastbound lane of Gallagher Drive was done with existing equipment and it took more than three weeks to complete. He said the microplaner finished the same work on the other side of the street in three days.

“I appreciate you bringing this to us and saving the city future tax dollars,” council member Shawn Teamann said. “We can save the cost of this equipment by doing those (kinds of projects) ourselves in-house, so this is just a no-brainer in efficiency.”

Since all the equipment was being purchased off the BuyBoard, council member Willie Steele asked whether the city received any local interest from dealers that could sell Sherman the equipment.

“We received bids from most all of the locals that were capable,” Winkler said. “A lot of this equipment is very specialized, so a lot of it is just not something they would have. For example, the microplaner is not something that anybody locally would have.”

Hefton also told the council the city would be doing a capital lease type of financing on most of the equipment.

“First quarter of 2018 is actually when we’ll have the financing,” Hefton said. “We’ll be financing this over a few years at really good rates, of course. But we’ll be doing that in the January-February time (frame).”