Publisher’s Letter: Working with a Reputable Car Dealership

North Forty News' delivery vehicle (Photo by Blaine Howerton)

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By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

In this column, I previously wrote about the “woes” we have been having with delivery vehicles. Since I have owned this newspaper, the delivery drivers have been using their cars to deliver your news.

I decided in January that we could no longer do that. It just isn’t something that our delivery drivers should have to do.

So, in February, I purchased a truck from a North Forty News supporter. The truck ran fine for a few months, then the transmission died. The repair bill was going to be more than $6,000! Um — not doing that.

Then, in April, I decided to go to a reputable car dealership in Fort Collins, Ken Garff Ford, and take a look at cars. I found an efficient one, not with too many miles, and with enough space to carry the newspapers. I got an extended warranty, so if we had mechanical problems again — we would be covered.

Well, last week, while delivering the Red Feather Lakes route, the car broke down. I drove up to help Jeff (who had his son with him), borrowed a flatbed trailer from my neighbor in Livermore, bought us a little food from Red Feather Super, and towed it back to Fort Collins. That was five hours of our lives that we will never get back.

I did find a little joy, in towing a Ford with a Chevy.

Ah well, stuff happens. And boy, does it.

The report from Ken Garff is that the car needs a transmission module. It’s a $300 part, covered by the warranty. The catch is that transmission modules are on backorder, with a 6-month delivery time!

So, back to the reason I went to Ken Garff in the first place. They are a reputable dealership with honest, hard-working people. I know we will come up with a solution together and get us back on the road.

They assure me they will!

I have my fingers crossed because, honestly, this newspaper publisher is still broke, and he’s paying for a delivery vehicle that is currently inoperable.

More to come as the story unfolds!