Poor exchange rate prompts county to slash equipment purchases

Canada’s limping dollar has convinced Lacombe County to dramatically cut its equipment purchases.

Canada’s limping dollar has convinced Lacombe County to dramatically cut its equipment purchases.

The county had planned to spend about $5.5 million ($3.8 million minus trade-ins) on new equipment, including five graders, for next year. That budget was trimmed to $681,000. Counting trade-in values on used equipment, the county expects to spend around $534,000.

Phil Lodermeier, county operations manager, said the poor exchange rate has driven up equipment costs by about 30 per cent over the past year. Most heavy equipment comes from U.S. manufacturers.

“We just don’t think we’re going to get value for money there,” Lodermeier said.

On top of that, the poor Alberta economy is driving down resale prices for the county’s used equipment.

It is hoped the Canadian dollar will recover next year, improving the economics for big purchasing. Even a 10 per cent improvement in the exchange rate with the U.S. dollar would be helpful, he said.

Lodermeier said there is risk to delaying equipment purchases. A year from now, most of the graders’ warranties will have expired and their resale value will drop further.

However, the graders are in good shape and county staff decided after careful number crunching that waiting out the economy for a year was the best option.

Council unanimously approved the new equipment purchasing plans.

Just Posted

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

EDMONTON — Two federal cabinet ministers are making appearances in Alberta today… Continue reading

San Francisco moves closer to nation’s 1st e-cigarette ban

San Francisco supervisors moved a step closer Tuesday to becoming the first… Continue reading

Who said what about the Liberals’ decision to go ahead with Trans Mountain

OTTAWA — There was swift reaction Tuesday to the decision by the… Continue reading

Take two: Alberta lauds federal re-approval of Trans Mountain pipeline project

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is lauding the federal government’s decision… Continue reading

WATCH: New RDC president has three decades of experience working at colleges and universities

Peter Nunoda says he’s ‘excited’ to help transition the college into a university

Follow the money: Salary cap could spawn NHL trade frenzy

Matt Niskanen wasn’t totally shocked when the Washington Capitals traded him to… Continue reading

Rugby Canada chooses 43-man long list for Pacific Nations Cup tournament

Captain Tyler Ardron, who plays in New Zealand for Super Rugby’s Chiefs,… Continue reading

Paul Simon, Alice Quinn honoured by Poetry Society of America

NEW YORK — Paul Simon doesn’t care much for requests, but he… Continue reading

NFB says Indigenous Action Plan is on track, meets 2020 production targets

MONTREAL — The National Film Board of Canada says it has reached… Continue reading

Take two: Alberta lauds federal re-approval of Trans Mountain pipeline project

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is lauding the federal government’s decision… Continue reading

Business leaders welcome pipeline approval but fear it may not be completed

CALGARY — Ottawa’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion pleased business… Continue reading

Alberta limits debate on bill to strip some public sector bargaining rights

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government is limiting debate on a contentious… Continue reading

Blair says more gun-control action needed, signals no new steps before election

OTTAWA — Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says more must be done… Continue reading

Most Read