City of Beebe employees have been approved for a trip to Georgia in order to possibly save nearly $50,000 or more on a portable water pump.

The Beebe City Council approved the trip to Savannah, Ga., on Monday for its water department general manager and street director to look at purchasing a used 2004 portable water pump for $12,500 from Butler Enterprises. To buy a new one, the cost was estimated to be between $60,000 and $78,000.

Water Department Manager Tommy Jackson said in August that the city was looking at getting a quote on a portable pump in case there was an outage or another problem in pumping wastewater. Jackson said the city has been renting the pumps from Rain for Rent in Conway called Rain for Rent.

“We’re spending about $2,500 a month in rentals,” Jackson told the council Dec. 10. “Back when the storm came through that went to Kentucky [on Dec. 10], it damaged the electrical components there, so that station is down. So we’re going to have to have this pump. We can’t get any parts to replace it, fix it.

“That’s what we’re running into a lot of this supply and demand, so we’ve got a pump rented down there to get that going and we don’t know when they are going to get the thing fixed. This is something we need and I know the 60- or 70-thousand [dollar amount] is a pretty good hit. I have been looking and shopping hoping to find a used one and I actually found this one and I called the guy about it. He actually has two.”

Jackson said the used pump had about 3,500 hours of use on it, which Beebe Sanitation Director Nick Smith said “would be a little less than a year running non-stop so it ain’t too terribly bad, but it is a 2004.”

Council member Derrek Goff said he “would feel better spending $12,500 on something like that instead of $60,000” as long as Jackson thinks “it’s good and would hold up.”

Mayor Mike Robertson said that he’d like “you all go look at it,” which Jackson said was “doable, but my thought is, if we make the trip over there and we both like it, I would like to be able to drag it home.”

Goff made the motion for Jackson and Smith to make the trip to Georgia. It was passed unanimously.

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