Royalton pays $45K for used sewer truck

ST. JOSEPH — Royalton Township is investing nearly $45,000 to make a dirty job more affordable.

Earlier this week, Royalton Township was the highest bidder on a Vactor sewer truck through an online auction from St. Louis, Mich., which closed at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

According to Manager Steve Tilly, the township’s winning bid for the truck was $39,275. However, accounting for the auction’s fees, the end total for the sewer truck was $44,128.

The price was considerably lower than the capped amount of $75,000 that the board gave Tilly permission to bid out.

That cost is also expected to be recouped in expenses within three years.

“Each year we have to pay for our lift station cleanings,” Tilly said. “I would say it costs the township about $15,000 per year to do so. We have at times, if there’s an emergency, had to call around to see who’s available on short notice. And that only increases the cost.”

The sewer truck, which was picked up by township officials Thursday, will be used to clean lift stations and occasionally clear out a sewer line.

The truck was built in 1996, and has accumulated 11,000 miles and about 2,100 hours worth of work on it. Tilly said the township couldn’t have afforded to buy a new sewer truck, so trustees opted for a used model.

Tilly said the municipality that had bought it new, had gotten another Vactor sewer truck and was trying to recoup some money in the process.

Tilly said it’s similar to the sewer truck that Lincoln Township uses, and close to the older version the city of St. Joseph used.

“I think we can get at least 10-15 years out of it,” Tilly said.

Contact:, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski