At Tuesday's County Commission Meeting, Commissioners heard a request for action from the Road & Bridge Department. This request for approval was to purchase a new Road Magnet to be used by the Rural Operators to remove metal and debris from the roadway. This purchase would come under the single source supplier provision of the Saline County Purchasing Policy.
The magnet is industrial grade and built to rugged specifications. It will pick up a 16- penny nail from a height of 8 inches. The Department received a quote from Bunting. They are an industrial magnet supplier located in Newton, Kansas.
The purchase price of the magnet would be $ 27,836.
Staff recommended the purchase from Bunting. The current magnet used has outlived its useful life for the Department's purposes. The magnet reach out (the ability to attract metals from a distance) has been compromised. The new magnet would provide greater ability to remove more of the damaging metal materials from the roadway. The Department used to loan their magnet to a neighboring county who had used crushed concrete for road aggregates and were needing to remove metal from the roadway. They did some research and could not find a supplier for the type and strength of the magnet Saline County had. They contacted Bunting to have them build one for them and have had great success with it. When comparing the two side by side, the ability of the newer magnet to attract and remove metal from the roadway, is decidedly significant over Saline County's. Bunting evaluated the Department's magnet in order to come up with specifications and improvements.
The Road and Bridge Department uses this magnet on a routine basis throughout the County and is available to be used upon citizen request. In working on the Equipment Improvement Program for 2024, staff was in conversations with Bunting on getting a price projection for 2024. The increase from this year to the next is nearly $1,700. Since the funding source is the Special Equipment Account and the money is already in place, it would make sense to purchase it this year at the lower price.
The old magnet will be sold on Purple Wave.
Unencumbered balance of the Special Road and Bridge Machinery Account is $1,745,592.73. Purchase of this equipment would leave a balance of $1,717,756.73
The motion passed 5-0.