By Kim Steele

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS - Council members are preparing to purchase a street sweeper and ambulance to replace old and dilapidated city vehicles.

The council on Tuesday instructed Alberta Barrett, the city's finance director, to amend the general fund budget for 2011-12 to allow money to be transferred for the purchase. Barrett will return to the council April 24 with an ordinance for approval so the vehicles can be ordered.

The purchases would amount to more than $384,000.

Public works director Mark Hyde said the 17-year-old Crosswind Sweeper, manufactured by Elgin Corp., has been repaired repeatedly, with $5,015.40 in parts and service since October 2010. Hyde said because the sweeper is so old, parts are no longer available.

Also, the vehicle's computer system, which controls all its sweeping functions, continues to malfunction. Hyde said a new computer system would cost about $8,500, if it could be found.

"We have one street sweeper, and that was purchased in 1995," said Hyde. "That's a long time for a street sweeper to run. In fact, Elgin Corp. tells us we have the only running 1995 sweeper in the United States."

Hyde said the sweeper gets a lot of use, with daily street sweeping year-round and an additional herbicide application each day in the summer. Kinloch Equipment & Supply in Arlington submitted a quote for $191,729 for a 2012 similar street sweeper.

Also, the city received a quote for $192,825 from Frazer in Houston for a new ambulance. It would replace a 2003 ambulance with 168,375 miles that has seen almost $6,000 in repairs since 2009.

"The current ambulance is old and isn't reliable, and that's something we can't have," said Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Gallenstein. -

The city also would be serviced by two other newer ambulances - a 2006 vehicle with 177,000 miles and repairs totaling almost $30,000 since 2009, and a 2009 ambulance with 96,277 miles and about $6,500 in repairs since it was purchased.

Contact Kim Steele at or (254) 501-7567.

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