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Long Commission agrees on backhoe purchase
MR commish april
Long County Commissioners Wallace Shaw (left) and Bobby Walker (right) settled their disagreement over how a backhoe was purchased. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
After a heated March meeting, during which Commissioners Bobby Walker and Wallace Shaw disagreed over the legality of a previous backhoe purchase authorized by Walker, both men agreed to ratify the purchase at the April 7 meeting.
Walker, who is the chairman of the Long County Commission, said, “I’ll admit that had I been in Wallace’s place, I would have questioned the purchase too.
“In hindsight, I would have done things a little differently, and would have brought the purchase before the other commissioners, even though it had been approved in the budget.”
Shaw said, “We approved the purchase unanimously, and agreed that purchases like this need to go before all of us commissioners in the future, but we were able to work this out and we all agree that we are going to make every effort to work together in the future.”
The purchase was for a Caterpillar backhoe, which when purchased outright, cost $79,316. However, Long County has a lease with the option to buy agreement, paying around $830 a month, according to Walker.
The commission also heard Long County EMA Director Darrell Ballance recommend the county sign a joint agreement with Garden City for emergency debris cleanup with the DRC Group.
According to Ballance, DRC is a debris removal company that specializes in natural disaster cleanups.
“If we sign this cooperative contract, it covers us for this year. To protect us by June 1, we need to sign this contract,” Ballance said.
Under the agreement, DRC has 72 hours to report to the county for duty should a natural disaster hit. The county can terminate the contract at any time with a 30 day notice to DRC.
The commissioners approved the measure unanimously.  
Regarding the completion of the additions to the Long County Recreation Department, Commissioner Cliff DeLoach said the baseball field sodding is finished, the irrigation system is installed and the lights are ready to be installed.
“Hopefully, we will be playing on the two new fields by the 18th of April, when the Relay for Life tournament is played,” DeLoach said.
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