3/6/2013 3:28:00 PM Council approves sheriff's request for new cars Many in current fleet have over 100,000 miles
By SARA KOVACH email@example.com
The Henry County Sheriff Department will soon have new vehicles.
Sheriff Butch Baker told Henry County Council during their regular meeting last Wednesday that several police cars were not suitable for continued use. After much discussion and deliberation, council members voted 4-3 to purchase six new vehicles.
Three members, Robin Fleming, Dick Bouslog and Harold Griffin, voted to purchase five cars, saying the extra money should be used to purchase other needed items including new bullet proof vests.
Council member Mike Thalls said currently 20 cars in the sheriff's department fleet had accumulated over 150,000 miles each and many others had over 100,000 miles.
"Many of the cars may not be safe but we're asking Butch and his staff to drive them because of a lack of funding," Thalls said.
Thalls said the finance option requested by Baker at January's meeting to lease-purchase cars was not feasible. The council decided instead to outright purchase five cars this year and hope funds are available to purchase five more next year. Baker asked to purchase a total of 10 cars.
"The problem with the lease to buy is the fact that you're obligated in the future with large payments," Thalls said. "If we would purchase six, we have to pay $60,000 for three years. We would rather just buy with the money we feel like we have."
Thalls said funding for three police cars will come from the County Option Income Tax budget, known as COIT and funding for the other two will be taken from the rainy day budget.
"We want to make sure our police officers are safe driving in our county," Thalls said. "I'm glad the council members agreed to do this."