Last night, the Dubois County Council approved a $400,000 appropriation for the Highway Department to bid on a new escavator and salt trucks. The approval was confirmed this morning by county council president Greg Kendall.

The council favored a bid with Erb Equipment of Evansville where a 2010 model year excavator would cost a little over $199,000. However, due to an available government discount as well as a trade-in estimate for the old equipment, the cost of the excavator would bid closer to 150 or 160 thousand dollars, county highway superintendent Steve Berg told the council.

In all, keeping the cost at the $400,000 mark was very important to the council, most of all councilman Mark Brescher. Brescher says in the future, big lump sums are not favorable for the county budget and favors a different way of doing it.

Brescher says he welcomes bringing in a listing of a department’s future needs, but he reiterated the need to keep the cost spread out over having a lump sum of needs all at one time.

Also at last night’s meeting, the council approved the advertising of a proposal to purchase 8 new police radios. Dubois County Prosecutor Kevin Crouse told the council that new FCC regulations on radio frequencies are causing the need to replace the radios. The current radios would be given to reserve officers according to Crouse. The two bids on the radios came from Advanced Radio Communications, who quoted 8 radios at a cost of $5080, or $635 each and Jasper-based Harmonic Electronics, who quoted 8 radios at a total cost of $5560, or $695 each.