Farmer City, Ill., (WCIA) — One town is now one step closer to solving a months-long problem. Farmer City now has two new trucks for their public works department.
A fire destroyed their public works garage in February. They lost all five trucks and other equipment in that fire.
Fred Graning, the street department superintendent, has been working on replacing the trucks for the last five months. A few days ago, he purchased a dump truck and a pickup truck. He said work trucks are hard to come by right now.
“We had a deal set up for three trucks and it fell through. Actually, the dealership ended up selling one of the pickups before we could get back,” Graning said.
The city is using insurance money to cover the costs of the new vehicles.
City Manager Sue McLaughlin said it can be a challenge to stay within budget and buy quality vehicles.
“In this economy, we’re finding them where ever we can find them. Our vactor truck we don’t even get till November out of St. Louis,” she said.
While Graning continues to search for replacements, he is thankful for the help Farmer City has received from surrounding cities. Since the fire, Farmer City has used dump trucks and backhoes from Champaign County and DeWitt County. Monticello, LeRoy and Chatsworth have also helped.
They are still using some borrowed equipment and some workers still use their personal vehicles as well. They are glad to be replacing some of their own.
“This particular dump truck had brand new bed liner, new tires, and it was municipally owned before, so that’s one of the reasons why we grabbed it,” McLaughlin said.
Graning said purchasing these two trucks has taken some of the pressure off, but they are still looking to buy one more pickup truck and two more dump trucks.
The cause of the fire is still being determined. McLaughlin said the State Fire Marshal still has 6-7 fires to assess first. Plans for the new garage are still in the works.