The head of the Natrona County Road & Bridge Department is asking the Natrona County Commission for money to replace equipment damaged from clearing roads during the rough winter weather.

"Crews worked from January 2nd up until two weeks ago pretty much nonstop," Road and Bridge Superintendent Michael Haigler wrote in an April 24 memo to the commissioners.

Tuesday, he told commissioners during a work session that some of the prices of needed equipment have changed since he wrote that memo, but the need remains.

During the winter, the department lost two V-plows due to fatigue, and its 1978 D&G Dozer was and remains disabled, Haigler wrote.

A V-plow consists of two independently moving plow blades. V-plows can come in various materials such as steel, stainless steel or poly, according to Boss Products's glossary of snow plow parts terminology.

Haigler rented a D6VP LGP dozer from Wyoming Machinery and is still using it to reclaim significantly damaged roads in the Willow Creek area north of Casper. He's  paid $43,659 in rent through May 17.

Haigler said he'd like to buy a new D6, but he could buy the rental machine for $346,341 less a trade-in value for the county's old D7G.

A commissioner and Haigler disagreed about whether to keep renting the dozer or buying it.

Dave North said as long as the county is renting it, it essentially is getting a locked-in, zero-interest loan.

But Haigler urged the county to buy it.

Commission Chairman Steve Freel said commissioners soon will be crafting the budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year and this purchase can be included.

Haigler said the Road & Bridge Department also needs to buy two V-plows soon so they'll be ready for the next winter. They would be a sole-source purchase and would cost $36,472 for two.

Haigler budgeted $75,00 for a drop-deck trailer in the Optional One Cent Sales Tax line item, but the quotes he received were $136,503 from one source and $84,356 from another. He's asking the commissioners to buy the trail from LMI in Waverly, Tennessee.

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