County Snow Plow Damaged by Lightning Strike

County Snow Plow Damaged by Lightning Strike

SWEETWATER COUNTY — Sweetwater County will be buying back one of the snowplows they traded last year due to a lightning bolt striking a combination dump truck and snowplow a few months ago.

On July 28, a lightning bolt struck a combination dump truck and snowplow while it was being used to transport water at the Sweetwater Events Complex Center. The incident resulted in a total loss of the vehicle.

According to Sweetwater County Human Resources Director Gary McLean, the vehicle is in the process of being replaced through an insurance claim. He said that all vehicles 10 years old or less have full replacement value and that they should receive a full or near full cost recovery on the truck.

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However, the replacement vehicle isn’t expected to arrive until around July 2022, McLean said during the Sweetwater County Commission meeting Tuesday. This leaves the county without a vehicle to plow paved roads including school bus routes, mine roads, and other major population centers outside of the cities for this upcoming winter.

Gene Legerski, Sweetwater County Public Works Director, suggested the county buy back one of the two multi-use trucks they traded off last year for two new vehicles. The county would keep the vehicle through the winter and then resell it once the replacement truck is received.

Legerski and McLean said buying back one of their own used vehicles would be ideal until they receive the replacement vehicle as it is already set up for the purposes the county needs.

The trade-in value for the vehicle they are buying back was $20,000. Floyd’s Truck Repair bought the used vehicle on the trade-in, and they are charging the county $25,000 to buy it back. Once the replacement vehicle is received, the county will be able to sell the truck at a fair market price to whoever they want, which means they are not obligated to sell it back to Floyd’s Truck Repair.

The Sweetwater County Commission unanimously approved for Legerski to buy back the vehicle for $25,000 using funds from the Sweetwater County Public Works Department budget.