Custer County weed department staffers are searching for two vehicles after county commissioners approved a spending plan.

The department can spend up to $32,000 on a used pickup and $16,000 on a UTV.

Department Superintendent Brett Plummer said the department needs a pickup because the newest pickup in the fleet is more than 20 years old and has 250,000 miles on it. To spray weeds across Custer County, which covers 4,937 square miles, Plummer said he and his crew put a fair amount of strain on vehicles. Because they put autos through the paces, "we're constantly having to work on them," Plummer said. "They're starting to nickel and dime us."

Looking at Public Surplus, an outlet specifically for government agencies, Plummer said once he's found a new pickup he'll attach spraying equipment to it.

As for the UTV, Plummer said the department wants one to increase productivity. Because some parts of the county where they spray can't be reached with a pickup, Plummer said they use all-terrain vehicles with 20 gallon tanks. That's not an effective use of workers' time, Plummer said, since it can take several trips back to a pickup to refill a tank to spray an area. "Sometimes it's a 20-minute ride to refill," Plummer said.

A side-by-side UTV can carry a 70-gallon tank, allowing weed department workers to spray more efficiently, according to Plummer.

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