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FairfaxAfter quibbling, Vienna officials OK purchase of 'Bobcat'

After quibbling, Vienna officials OK purchase of ‘Bobcat’

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Vienna Town Council members on April 25 on a 6-1 vote approved the purchase of a versatile Bobcat Toolcat machine requested by the Vienna Parks and Recreation Department.

The machine, which costs $133,706 and will be bought from Bobcat of Northern Virginia using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, will be essential for parks maintenance, town officials said.

Among many potential uses for the device, town crews will use it to install and maintain trees and shrubs, assist with habitat-restoration projects, maintain playgrounds, perform emergency tree work, clear snow and remove debris from parking lots.

The machine will “dramatically increase accessibility into parks, improve efficiency of staff and allow response to park-maintenance tasks that are not currently possible due to limitations of existing equipment,” officials said.


Like a Swiss Army knife, the Bobcat Toolcat will be able to wield numerous implements, including an angle broom, auger hex drive unit, heavy-duty bucket, chipper, industrial-bucket grapple, heavy-duty pallet-fork frame, show blade, stump grinder, rear-window guard, combination bucket, box blade and soil conditioner.

The Council debated the item for about half an hour and came close to deferring the matter until the May 16 meeting.

Council member Nisha Patel moved to do that, but received support only from colleagues Howard Springsteen and Steve Potter.

When the main motion came up afterward, Potter was the lone nay vote, saying he needed more details on the purchase, including its probable return on investment.

“We don’t have enough information, in my view, to make an informed business decision,” Potter said.

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