The Board of County Commissioners, at Monday's BOCC meeting, approved a purchase agreement between Otero County and the City of Rocky Ford for a road grader.

Rocky Ford pursued the purchase of a 2000 John Deer 772CH road grader from Otero County to assist in smoothing access roads, alleys and the dirt track at the fairgrounds, Public Works Operations Manager Rick Long told the La Junta Tribune-Democrat.

"The grader that we have now is a 1964, and it's just plagued by problems," said Long. "We've been looking for graders for probably seven years now. Everything that we would do, we would just go out and do with our loader bucket. ..."

The purchase agreement stipulates that Rocky Ford will issue three annual payments totaling $37,000, and that the grader would be delivered by the county to the city after the first payment of $12,000 is received.

"We were glad to be able to piecemeal that out over a three-year period to help out the city of Rocky Ford," said Commissioner Keith Goodwin.

Council member Marty Lee told Commissioners John Hostetler and Goodwin that he would let Rocky Ford City Manager Shannon Wallace know the purchase is good to go.

Long said he hopes to be able to use the grader for laying hot mix asphalt because Rocky Ford doesn't have an asphalt laying machine.
Long only wishes the purchase agreement included an operator for the grader, he said.

"It'll get put to work," said Long. "I wish it came with another employee, but it doesn't."