Landfill contemplating bulldozer action

ATLANTA – The Montmorency-Oscoda-Alpena Solid Waste Management Authority is going to wait a few weeks before it decides if it is going to invest more than $300,000 on a new bulldozer or significantly less to have the current one rebuilt. The landfill board opened three bids for a new dozer, but decided to delay a vote so the commissioners could review the proposals more closely.

Michigan CAT, John Deere and Komatsu responded to the bid request issued by the landfill.

CAT submitted four options in its proposal. The first was for a new dozer complete with a water management arrangement and a six-angle blade for $329,021 and another new truck, with less options for $300,133. For both CAT is willing to give the landfill $50,000 for it current dozer, which is a 1999 and has more than 11,000 work hours on it. CAT also proposed that it take the old dozer and do a complete certified rebuild in which the company strips the vehicle down to the frame and rebuilds it piece by piece. The cost would be $232,500 and would come with a new serial number and the same guarantee as a new dozer.

Alpena Commission Cam Habermehl said the landfill needs a new dozer, but said it was only reasonable to take some time and review the bid specs closer.

“We just got the proposals and we only really had about 20 minutes to look at them and I think there are a lot of questions that need to be asked when your talking about spending $300,00,” Habermehl said. “I think we have to seriously look at the rebuild option. That would be almost $100,000 savings, so there are just some things we need to take a closer look at.”

Montmorency County Commissioner Stacey Carroll said he has no problem waiting to vote on the issue, but already knows what direction she believes the board should move. She said even though it will cost less to have the current bulldozer redone, buying something new is still a safer way to do business.

“Even though it is our machine and they will rebuild it, it will still be just that, rebuilt,” Carroll said. “I think having it rebuilt is just like putting a Band Aid on something. There are issues with the machine and when you buy rebuilt they last for a while, but then eventually something else breaks down. I think it is just better to get it brand new.

AIS Construction equipment sent in a proposal for a Komatsu for $311,000 after a $45,000 for the current one and for a John Deere for $323,000 after a $42,000 for the current dozer.

In other business:

  • the board voted to send Administrator Sandy Cunningham and another one of the commissioners to the MMRMA conference on March 7-8.
  • Cunningham requested the board consider purchasing a new copier for the landfill office. The current printer still operates, but according to Cunningham it is beginning to have some issues. The new printer would have been able to provide color printing and other features the current printer does not contain. In the end the board voted 3-3 to not purchase the copier.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5689.