Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The Washington County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation on Tuesday that will help finance a new dump truck, despite some initial hesitation.
“Part of this is (legislation) trying to reduce diesel emissions. We have it there to replace an old piece of equipment,” County Engineer Jacob Thorius said. “We destroy the engine and the vehicle, and we get $77,000 to help pay for a new vehicle, whereas if we sold that at auction, we’d get maybe $10,000. It’s a significant amount of money to help pay for a replacement of our aging fleet.”
Board members said they were skeptical about the legislation behind the money: the Iowa Diesel Emission Reduction Act, or DERA.
“They’re going to make you trash something that somebody might buy and might be real glad to have,” Board Member Bob Yoder said. “I just don’t find it a wise use of resources, and I realize that whoever made the rules probably sees it a little bit differently.”
Nonetheless, supervisors unanimously approved the grant after some deliberation.
“I’m not against taking the money, it’s just destroying something that really doesn’t need to be destroyed,” Yoder said.
Another complaint county officials raised with the plan was the resulting switch to a vehicle that would use Diesel Emissions Fluid, or DEF, which Thorius said was inherent for virtually any updated vehicle.
“You can’t always shut the engine off right away, it has to run through its cycle … It’s corrosive, you’ve got to store the material properly which is hard to do when you’re working outside,” Thorius said. “It’s a lot of little things with extra parts. It’s just something else to go wrong.”