The purchase of a used backhoe and approval of a bid for Davis Road work were accepted by the Union Board of Selectmen Sept. 16.

Orrin Parker, foreman with the Union Public Works Department, presented his findings to the board. The options: either purchase a 2011 used backhoe with 1,000 hours of use on it for $59,250 or spend $103,000 on a new one.

The underlying problem with the longevity of the equipment was targeted as storing them in the salt shed, which lends to deterioration of the metal, which is what caused the early demise of the backhoe being replaced, town officials said.

A high bid of $2,727 from Frank Cochran for the defunct backhoe was accepted, with the funds being put toward the project.

The other piece of equipment being evaluated is a 2004 John Deere backhoe that will most likely need replacing in the next year or two.

Chris Packard, owner of Packard's Small Excavation, recommended since the board was going with the used option why not look into another used piece ahead of time.

"Maybe see about a second used unit in case something happens to the current one," said Packard, who advised getting an idea of what its current trade-in value would be to offset the cost of that as well.

The board requested that Parker look into the suggestion.

Davis Road bid accepted

Town Manager Jay Feyler opened the single bid turned in for Davis Road work.

Packard's Small Excavation bid $17,550 per 100 yards of road to upgrade portions of Davis Road.

With only $90,000 available in the fund, Feyler said they would have the worst sections of the road done first. The total monies available would allow for just over 500 yards of road to be done.

"Davis Road is the highest traveled dirt road," justified Feyler, who added the town looks at population, amount traveled, and number of houses on the roads to determine priority.

A mid-November completion is eyed.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at