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Town debate: Buy brush chipper, or not?

At its Aug. 18 regular meeting, the River Falls Town Board continued discussing whether buying a brush chipper would be a wise investment.

The cost of a new one chipper is $11,500.

Resident Mark Leier, W10197 Highway 29, asked how much it would cost to repair the town’s old chipper?

Town Supervisor Joe Mahoney said the board looked into repairing the old chipper, but that “it wasn’t worth fixing.”

Leier also suggested the board ask town employee and mechanic Rob Schaar to fix the old chipper.

Supervisor Brad Mogen said Schaar hasn’t mentioned anything about the chipper. 

However, the board told Leier it would check with Schaar to see if it’s still repairable.

Finally, Leier questioned whether buying a new chipper would be a wise investment.

Leier said the old chipper was used only “10% of the time,” and the rest of the time it sat outside “exposed to the elements.”

Leier wondered if it was a better use of the town’s and taxpayer’s money to put that $11,500 in to “much needed” road repairs.

Town Board Chairwoman Diana Smith reminded Leier that no official decision was made about buying a new brush chipper.

Smith added, “Roads are one of our biggest concerns and expenditures. We are open to any suggestion that will make our roads safer.”

Supervisor LeRoy Kusilek, who opposes buying a new chipper, said he spoke with a person willing to clear and haul brush for $25 per hour.

For more town of River Falls news, see the Aug. 28 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

--Rachel Baumer, correspondent