In a late addition to the HSVPOA Board Meeting Agenda, a dump truck previously approved and almost purchased was re-addressed and again approved. This is an interesting and somewhat humorous story, and it is nice that the staff is forthcoming about the situation and sees the comedy. After all, this was probably an inconvenience, but no irreparable harm was actually done.

This item was not originally on the May 17, 2023, Board of Directors’ meeting agenda. Still, because it was time-sensitive, it was added to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. Chair Joanie Corry said, “Normally, we would do this under a Board email vote, but since we know about it right now, I would like to add it {to New Business on the agenda].”

Public Services Director Ken Unger said that last year the Fleet Management Department requested approval to purchase two backhoes and two dump trucks. Three pieces of equipment were received. Then the POA was notified that the second dump truck was ready for pickup. The invoice was provided but it was over the approved amount by $35,000. Unger said, “We weren’t really sure why. After investigating, it turned out that two bids were received. One was approximately $207,000, and the other one was around $181,000. The bid brought to the Board was for $181,000. “As it turned out, that particular bid did not include the bed of the truck. Hence, the additional $35,000 they were asking for,” stated Unger.

Budgeted for this dump truck was $192,000. “The cost turned out to be $227,000 and change, for us to pick up the truck. That is the bad news,” clarified Unger.

Unger said, “We need this truck. It’s a 12-ton truck to be used at the sewage treatment plant to haul sludge to the dump. One of our dump trucks is not road worthy, and the other could break down at any time. We can’t be in a position where we can’t haul sludge. We’d have to move another dump truck being used for operations.” The truck being replaced (per approval) is 24 years old.”

“The good news is…this year, we had about $100,000 allocated to meet our fleet requirements. We have spent about $57,000 on used vehicles. We can cover this overrun…It is what it is, and if we want this truck, we will have to pay the extra $35,000,” said Unger.

Board Director Bob McCleod said, “So somebody sold us a dump truck without the dump bed?”

Unger replied, “No. No. Here is what it is…”

Hale interjected, “This is one of the first things in February (2022) after I was installed as General Manager. The automotive supervisor brought two packets to us.” One packet presented to management [was for a truck that] did not have a bed attached. We trusted someone…” Ken Unger was updated on the price hike by phone call. Public Services located the original file and found it contained two packets. One packet was the one given to Kelly Hale and Ken Unger. The other packet was the one with the bed intact on the dump truck. At that time, the truck with the bed was $207,000. An error was made for whatever reason, and the dump truck bed was not included.”

Hale said, “Lesson learned. Now Ken and I have a running joke…’Does that include the bed? Does that include the four wheels? Does that include the engine?’ We have had a very strategic approach to replacing the equipment. It has been very difficult through COVID, obviously, with the supply chain and everything happening. But we feel that we’ve done a very good job of identifying strategically when we needed equipment, and now is the time we need to get this truck.”

Jokingly, Hale said, “The truck we are using right now is on three wheels.”

Director Jama Lopez motioned to purchase the $227,370.72 dump truck, which was seconded by McLeod and unanimously approved.

By Cheryl Dowden


Contact Information for Public Services Director

Ken Unger
Director Public Services
Hot Springs Village
501-226-9609
[email protected]