HOULKA – The town of Houlka recently received a new maintenance vehicle at a reduced price, courtesy of a grant from the federal government, Mayor Jimmy Kelly said this week.

The 2019 four-wheel-drive Ram pick-up came in Monday, Nov. 18, and is already in use.

The town recently received a 75/25 grant from the U. S. Department of Agriculture for the vehicle. “Under the grant, the government will pay about $19,100, and the town will pay the remaining $6,400 from the general fund,” the mayor said.

Under terms of the arrangement, when the truck came in, the town had to make sure it had a clear title and was insured, then pay the entire cost. The town will then submit a letter to the USDA seeking the federal reimbursement.

The new vehicle replaces a 2002 Ram two-wheel- drive truck with over 230,000 miles on it, used by the Water and Street Department.

The old vehicle, along with a 2004 Ram truck, will be auctioned off early next year, with the proceeds to be used to help pay the town’s portion of the new vehicle’s cost, Mayor Kelly said.

The new vehicle will have a new home, in a new location.

The town recently erected a new “barn” – city maintenance shed – and installed a fence around the 21x42 metal building. It’s located just north of Miss. 32 at the north end of West Front Street.

The structure cost $11,500, plus $4,000 for the fence.

The Eagle-type carport building – similar to a horse barn – was bought through G& T Auto Sales in Houlka.

“The town recently sold the Main Street land the old maintenance barn was on to the Bent Knee Nazarene Church, which adjoins it. The church will use the extra land for parking; they’ve already torn down the old barn,” the mayor said.

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