Highway chief proud of frugal ways

CROWN POINT - In nearly three decades as Crown Point highway superintendent, Eugene "Peanut" Ingleston has seen a lot of changes. One thing, though, remains the same.

"The price of everything keeps going up and we have to do more with less," Ingleston said. "It's all about trying to save money, living within your means."

That's something Ingleston, who has been in office 28 years, seems to have mastered.

Last summer when the town's 25-year-old grader died Ingleston started shopping for a replacement. New graders cost $165,000 and more - too much for Crown Point taxpayers.

"I started shopping around and got a good used one for $31,500," he said. "It took a lot of wheeling and dealing. We don't buy anything new here."

Ingleston is a long-time, active member of the New York State Highway Superintendents Association. He served as its president in 1996 and has connections throughout the state.

"A lot of big towns buy new equipment every 10 years; they have a lot of money," he explained. "We can get that equipment at a good price, clean it up, fix the problems and it's practically new."

The Crown Point highway department just bought a "new" tandem truck for $3,000. That truck could have cost $175,000 or more from a dealer.

Bethany Kosmider, Crown Point's new supervisor, appreciates Ingleston's frugal ways.

"I look forward to working with Peanut to provide the highway department with their needs while maintaining a tight rein on the budget during this difficult economic time," she said. "Crown Point has some old equipment that looks like new because Peanut is impeccable about the care his equipment receives, which in the end, saves money for the town."

Maintenance is a priority for Ingleston and his crew. Every truck is washed after every use. The department has its own mechanic and all repairs are done in-house.

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