Keep in mind...a Badger and a Gradall are basically the same piece of equipment...that fact is important because it is part of the puzzle pieces that we will put together as we go along! It's sort of like a Chevy vs. a Ford.
On November 1, 2006, the Town of New Hartford votes to sell the town's 1995 Badger to Al Roberts without the town board first declaring it surplus. Excerpt from town board minutes [emphasis placed on some words by this blogger]:
Surplus Vehicle SaleNotice how the November 1, 2006 minutes above sort of conflict with the October 4, 2006 minutes below [emphasis applied to the words by this blogger]:
With authorization being given at the October 18, 2006 Town Board meeting, the Highway Superintendent had contacted the Town of Vernon with regard to purchasing surplus Town equipment; they declined, not wanting to expend $9200, the Town’s threshold. Subsequently, the Highway Superintendent received a bid from Al Roberts of Roberts Construction of Upstate New York, Inc. who submitted a proposal to purchase the surplus vehicles for $9200 and submitted full payment. Town Board consensus was to sell the following vehicles to Mr. Roberts for $9200:
· one (1) 1980 Mack Dump Truck, VIN RM6864X1160
· one (1) 1995 Badger, VIN AG038182
· one (1) 1990 Chevrolet G10 Van, VIN 1GCDG15Z3L7151162
· one (1) 1996 Ford Crown Victoria, VIN 2FALP71W6TX167995
· one (1) 1999 Ford Crown Victoria, VIN 2FAFP71WXXX185788
Highway Superintendent Cleveland then reported that after the 12 Noon Bid Opening had closed on Tuesday, October 3, 2006 he received a Bid for all five (5) surplus vehicles, totaling Ninety-two Hundred Dollars ($9200) and he acknowledged receiving a check in this amount. [The name of the bidder had not been disclosed.]You can't be called a bidder if you submit the bid AFTER the Bid Opening! Mr. Al Roberts pays $9,200 for the 1995 Gradall and 4 other vehicles...not as the result of the bid invitation that was placed in the paper by the Town Clerk, but as a result of the $9,200 check that Roger Cleveland received from Mr. Al Roberts after the bidding is closed. Mr. Roberts didn't bother to submit a bid; but Roger Cleveland just happens to have the check in his pocket at the October 4, 2006 town board meeting. At that meeting, Roger Cleveland advises the town board not to accept the other 2 bids that were received for the 1980 Mack Dump Trucks because the bids are below book value.
After some discussion that took place over 3 board meetings, the town board finally approved the deal. Here are links to the New Hartford Town Board meetings where the discussions took place:
Now let's look at a excerpt from page 7 of the Town of Whitestown Town Board Minutes dated July 20, 2005 about 14 months prior to the Town of New Hartford bid invitation in September 2006:
The Town Board also received sealed bids for Whitestown’s surplus vehicles and equipment. They are as follows:As you can see, the Town of Whitestown received a high bid of $9,551 for a 1983 Badger (Gradall). Whereas, the Town of New Hartford sold a 1995 Badger (without the town board first declaring it surplus) plus four (4) other vehicles for $9,200 and outside the bidding process!!
1. 1983 Badger (Gradall) VIN#171581
$3,250.00 – Dominick A. Talerico
$9,551.00 – Louis Cosimino
We can assume that one or more of the following may be in play here:
- The Town of Whitestown just got lucky...after all there is a 'sucker' born every minute, isn't there?
- the Town of Whitestown probably found the last 'sucker' born in the Mohawk Valley...beating us out by just a few short months.
- The book value of Badgers took a sharp decline from July 2005 to October 2006. The 1995 models are worth less now than the 1983 models were just 15 months previous. Must be a "supply and demand" type issue.
- Houston, we have a problem!
By the way, in March 2007, Concerned Citizens contacted a person who is "in the business" and he estimated that the 1995 Badger alone, not to mention the other four (4) vehicles ( unless the Badger was not well maintained) would be worth between $12,000-$18,000.Have I mentioned that Al Roberts is a relative of a Town Board member?
Don't go away...to be continued! It's gonna get better before all is said and done!