HARRISON, N.Y. – Approximately five years after purchasing a Menzi Muck Excavator with a trailer and attachments, the Harrison Town Board voted to sell it to the Township of Woodbridge, N.J. for $90,000. The town board cited Harrison’s limited use for the heavy equipment and insufficient manpower to operate it as reasons for selling it at the specified price.
Three trustees approved the sale with the exception of Trustee Joseph Cannella, who abstained from the vote. Trustee Steve Malfitano, who was mayor of Harrison when the excavator was purchased for approximately $243,000, was against selling it, but eventually casting the only “nay” vote when the roll was called.
Malfitano said the equipment was purchased as a result of the flood conditions the town sometimes experiences during heavy storms. Since the excavator has only 102 meter hours on it since it was purchased, Malfitano aid it should have been used more often.
“We are now being told that we can’t use it because we don’t have the proper personnel to operate it,” Malfitano said. “I understand that but even sitting idle it still has a value.”
According to Public Works Commissioner Anthony Robinson, the equipment was originally purchased as a “practical matter” to clean out the streams and brooks in the town. But the town soon discovered that there were only a few places in Harrison that it could fit in to do the work. Furthermore, some of the brooks and streams the town originally planned to clear with it are on private property, which the town does not have access to.
“It seemed like a good idea to purchase it at the time but it didn’t work out for practical reasons,” Robinson said. “We used to have a part-time person who would do routine tasks but right now we only have full-time people who could do those tasks.”
But even though the town is selling the equipment used for substantially less than what it originally paid for it new, Robinson said the bid from Woodbridge, N.J. was $50,000 more than any initial bid the town received for it.
“We tried to work with Westchester County to get them to purchase it but that was not accomplished,” Trustee Fred Sciliano said. “The longer it sits idle, the less money we are going to get for it. Let’s just take our losses and move on.”