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Updated Wednesday, December 04, 2013 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 09/18/13
Village to purchase
two new police cruisers
by CHRIS GRAYThe Village of Romeo Board of Trustees has agreed to update the Romeo Police Department's aging fleet of cruisers.
Observer Staff Writer
Trustees voted 6-0 to purchase two new Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicles for a total of $54,778 over the next three years. Trustee Mike Cregar was not present for the Sept. 16 meeting.
Residents may have noticed officers trying out demo versions of a Chevrolet Impala, a Ford Interceptor sedan and Ford Interceptor utility in the past six months. Police Chief Greg Paduch said after trying each vehicle, he and his department were in agreement on choosing the utility.
The only bid the department received was from Signature Ford in the amount of $25,868 per vehicle. Four payment plans were provided, each at three or four years for purchasing one or two vehicles. Paduch said the dealership offered a reduced finance rate if a purchase was more than $50,000, so by buying two vehicles with the three-year plan it would come out to $18,259 a year. He said the 2013-14 budget has $29,000 set aside for vehicle purchases, meaning the remaining $10,000 would be freed up for other items.
"That way we get two vehicles now and I feel that I wouldn't have to come back to the council for at least two years to ask for more vehicles," he said.
The price includes warranties as well as shipping, with the vehicles estimated to arrive in mid- to late November. Paduch said he expects each vehicle to last at least five years if they have mileage spread amongst them equally.
The department currently has four vehicles, the newest of which are 2008 Ford Crown Victorias. Two cruisers have at least 120,000 miles while the others have 95,000 and 75,000 miles. The amounts don't include idling, which Paduch said doubles the amount of mileage on each vehicle due to stationary work like radar patrols.
"Since I've been chief I've been budgeting about $7,000 a year just in vehicle maintenance," he said.
Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said the village will see a savings in the amount of money spent on maintenance due to having an updated fleet. Last month, the department spent $1,000 in repairs on one of its older cruisers.
Trustee Matt Edwards said the vehicle purchasing budget in prior years was zero, so he questioned whether the department could budget $18,000 a year. Paduch said $18,000 will work, because he would otherwise have to budget another $29,000 next year to purchase a second vehicle if only one was bought this year.
The village will save money by transferring lights and computers to the new vehicles itself, while Paduch said $2,000 to $5,000 per car for equipment like cages and push bumpers can be purchased using the extra $10,000 or funds from forfeitures.
"We instituted that (forfeiture) March 1 and brought in about $11,000," Paduch said.
Paduch said one of the older cruisers would be stripped down and used as a village vehicle for the Wastewater Treatment Plant, while the second vehicle would be held onto for another year.