Earle not quite ready to junk old mosquito truck

Earle not quite ready to junk old mosquito truck

Mayor wants to see if city- owned vehicle can be repaired


Earle received an insurance payment for a wrecked mosquito truck but isn’t in a rush to sell the wreck for cheap.

Mayor Sherman Smith told the city council that he is going to have a mechanic look the vehicle over first to see if it can be fixed before rushing off to sell it as junk. “I’m tired of selling things for a couple hundred dollars then people turning around and selling it for thousands of dollars,” Smith said.

Smith was referring to a wrecked Impala that the city sold as junk. The person who bought the vehicle got it for cheap because the city was under the impression that it was not able to be repaired.

“He bought it for $300 and sold it for $3,500,” Smith said. “He was grinning the whole time.”

Councilman Kenneth Cross asked whether the vehicle was still operable.

“Is it worth fixing?” Cross asked.

“I don’t think so,” Smith said. “But I would like to get somebody to look at it.” Street Department manager Nemi Matthews said the vehicle suffered damage to the right side and damaged the frame.

“The A-frame broke,” Matthews said. “When we went to the scene to move it, the wheels just came off.”

Mechanic Lee Johnson said it is very difficult to fix a broken frame.

“It’s not good for the city’s liability,” Johnson said. “But an individual might do it.”

Smith said he learned a lesson from the last time they sold some junk cars and would still like to have a mechanic at least assess the damage before agreeing to scrap it.

“I’m not doubting anybody,” Smith said. “But we sold one for $200 that we were told couldn’t be fixed. Then somebody came up and got it and drove it off. So I think it is worth us checking. That Crown Vic that we sold, we were told there was all kinds of things wrong with it. I’m thinking we’ve already been paid for it, we have a few months we can have it looked at. Then we will understand whether it can be fixed or not. I’m not for holding on to junk that isn’t any good. But sometimes you can put it back together.”

By Mark Randall