WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — Tree trimming should resume in the near future, according to John Shartle, who serves as both supervisor and roadmaster for West Mead.

Township supervisors on Tuesday unanimously ratified the purchase of a bucket truck to replace the one destroyed in a late-June crash.

“We have it here and it’s ready to roll,” Shartle said. “You should see us out cutting a lot of brush.”

The township purchased a 2005 Ford International for $24,283.50 from Rollerena Auto Sales of East Palestine, Ohio. The vehicle, which comes having already accumulated 114,000 miles, replaces a 1996-model truck with 75,000 miles.

“It ruined a good truck when we lost the other one,” Supervisor Michael Jordan said.

The township’s previous truck was totaled when a 16-year-old Cochranton boy fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into it on Franklin Pike near the Stauffer Road intersection just before noon June 28, according to West Mead police.

The loss of the truck was a cause for much concern during the supervisors’ July meeting.

“We can’t live without it,” Shartle said at the time. The truck Shartle described as “like new” had been purchased from the City of Meadville in 2014 in exchange for $13,500 in work on city projects performed by the township road crew over the ensuing two to three years, according to Tribune reporting at the time.

Shartle was more optimistic Tuesday.

“I think we’re going to be OK,” he said.

Secretary-Treasurer Jill Dunlap said she expected the truck to end up costing the township about $1,000 after taxes and paperwork were completed. The township’s insurance coverage through EMC Insurance had already provided $24,000 for the purchase, she said, and the company was negotiating with the driver’s insurance company over the final responsibility of the cost.

Mike Crowley can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at mcrowley@meadvilletribune.com.

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