KIMBALL, Tenn. — It took a few months, but city administrators finally found the new tractor they desperately needed for Kimball's maintenance department.
In August, the Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen put out bids for a new tractor to replace the city's ailing older model, but they didn't receive any offers from vendors.
The board voted to rebid the specifications in September instead of trying to purchase the tractor on the open market.
"We actually had some bids this month," Mayor David Jackson said. "Every tractor company in the Chattanooga area called me after [the story] came out in the newspaper."
On Thursday, the board unanimously approved the lowest bid of $37,733 for a model M5140 Kubota tractor from Franklin Kubota in Franklin, Tenn. The vote is conditioned on Maintenance Department Supervisor Mike Nelson approving the specifications.
"We want to make sure all the specs are right and everything dealing with the tractor," Alderman Mark Payne said. "We want to make sure we get the one we're paying for."
The board considered some other bids that were submitted for an L-series model at a cost of about $1,000 more than the M-series, but Nelson said the M-series fits the town's requirements better.
The L-series is "a light-duty tractor" intended for jobs like landscaping, he said.
Nelson said the M-Series is the same tractor, but has "a beefier front end" for more heavy-duty work, which will better suit the maintenance department's needs.
"The M-Series of this tractor will pick up nearly 2,600 pounds," he said. "It's actually the same tractor [as the L5240 model]. It has the same size motor and everything, but the M-Series is a heavier tractor."
Alderman Jerry Don Case said it's rare for the equipment the city needs and wants to be the cheapest price in the bidding process.
"Something isn't right there, is it?" he joked. "It's scary. That never happens."
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