PIEDMONT — The Piedmont City Council voted Tuesday to begin the process of acquiring two new vehicles for city maintenance purposes: a garbage truck and a truck used for junk pickup. The city will lease and eventually own them.

Councilman Terry Kiser brought up both items to the council. The junk pickup truck will replace one of two older models the city now uses. The junk truck’s cost as an outright purchase would be $125,570.

By charging $1 extra for trash pickup services, the city will be able to pay off leasing the new truck in four to five years, Kiser said.

“This truck runs eight hours a day, five days a week —  we need it to be reliable,” Kiser said.

The other truck, a Freightliner, will be kept as a backup.

As for the new garbage truck, the city will lease it on a two- or three-year term, to include regular maintenance on the truck. One of the current garbage trucks has repeatedly broken down, said Kiser, spurring the purchase of a new truck. The council voted to fix the current truck before selling it and estimated the value of the truck after repairs would be $90,000.

The new truck will cost somewhere around $180,000, Kiser said.

“That puts us at around $300,000 in expenses for the two trucks, but we have plans of paying those off, as discussed,” Kiser said. “We are spending money and not making it back on these trucks every time they break down anyway.”

Councilman Kenny Kelley agreed with Kiser. The city has a valuable source of revenue in garbage pickup, but it needs the trucks to be in working order to make that money, he said.

The final vote on the expenditures was 4 council members in favor with one abstention and two absences.

“We are operating a city and it is important that we serve the city’s needs,” Mayor Bill Baker said. “The new trucks are a good bit of expense, but if they are what we need, then we have to do it.”

In other business:

·      The mayor presented Doug Rosser, owner of Piedmont Outdoor, with a plaque recognizing an award he recently won for Sustaining Small Business of the Year from the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce.

·      The council voted to set up the Piedmont Cemetery Fund, which will help pay for upkeep and roadwork in the cemetery. Anyone can donate to the fund, which is tax deductible.

Staff Writer Elizabeth Manning: 256-235-3550. On Twitter @emanning_Star.