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A discussion about purchasing a new truck evolved into talk about how to do more sidewalk replacement in town. The Paxton City Council voted to buy a one ton diesel truck. The Ford truck itself will be purchased from Worden Martin, Champaign, for $40,320. The addition of a stainless dump bed and snow plow will cost an additional $19,000.

It will be paid for with budgeted new vehicle funds of $46,000 in the park and street departments but also $13,500 in the curb and sidewalk fund. When Alderman Mike Wilson asked public works head Mark LeClair how much sidewalk replacement was done the past year, LeClair said none.

LeClair said his crews didn’t have time and that it was a very rainy spring and early summer. He assured the council that another $40,000 can be budgeted for sidewalks in the fiscal year that begins May 1. To aldermen’s questions about perhaps hiring the work out, LeClair answered that they would be shocked at the cost of doing that.

Aldermen Rob Pacey said he didn’t want to see short-term need (the truck) interfere with long term need. “Let’s get this figured out,” said Wilson.

Also the council approved spending $26,041 for the materials for a new salt storage bin. The city will pay ClearSpan of South Windsor, CT, $14,223 for the metal and canvas for an arch-topped 48 by 42 foot metal building. It will sit on large concrete blocks that will cost $4,500. Concrete for footings will cost $7,300.

LeClair said he hopes city employees can construct the building. The old structure is in very poor shape.

LeClair also told the council he expects the replacement or rebuilding of a 75 horsepower pump at the Chestnut Street lift station to cost more than $30,000. He said the city engineer is working on the estimates for this year’s motor fuel tax project and that LeClair himself is figuring out what streets could be paved using a local contractor and general fund money.

Mayor Bill Ingold updated the council on the purchase of the city airport that is to be completed next month.