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The Spencer County Fiscal Court voted Tuesday night to purchase two new vehicles for the Spencer County Sheriff’s Department despite those two vehicles being left out of the county’s budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
The court voted 4-2 in favor of purchasing two 2013 Dodge trucks at the government contract price of $22,920.80 each, plus $11,000 for graphics, lights, radio and computer installation and $2,177.90 for bed covers and running boards for the two trucks.
The total approved cost is $59,019.50.
Judge-Executive Bill Karrer told the court that the money for the trucks was not included in the county’s budget because the sheriff’s department had hoped to be awarded a grant to cover the costs and because the budget included $250,000 to build a new EMS headquarters.
The sheriff’s department did not get the grant funding and the court opted not to build a new headquarters and instead purchased the old Spencer County Cooperative Extension Office on Spears Drive.
(The total purchase price of the extension office is $250,000, but only the $25,000 down-payment and monthly payments of $1,875 will be required from the current budget.)
The funding not used to build a new EMS location and funds from a larger carry-forward from the previous year were two reasons Karrer cited as being able to purchase the new trucks.
Magistrate Mike Moody said he wanted the sheriff’s deputies to have safe, nice vehicles in which to work, but didn’t feel comfortable spending the money.
“We have to control the spending,” Moody said.
Magistrate Jerry Davis, who voted against the budget when it ultimately passed in June, called the budget “unrealistic” and said the new vehicles should have never been taken out.
“I want to caution the magistrates ... you voted for a budget without these in there,” Davis said. “I make a motion we don’t purchase these vehicles.
Moody seconded the motion.
“I hate not to try to buy one,” Magistrate David Goodlett said.
Sheriff Donald “Buddy” Stump said he was following the advice of the court to purchase a couple of new vehicles on a regular basis to avoid the need to purchase three or four at one time.
Davis’ motion failed with Davis and Moody voting in favor and Goodlett, Karrer, Magistrate Woodie Cheek and Magistrate Hobert Judd voting against.
“It’s pathetic,” Davis said.
Stump told the court that the price of the trucks “will not be $22,920 forever,” and said the 8-cylinder trucks were at 6-cylinder prices.
“How are you going to issue the trucks?” Davis asked.
Stump explained that these Dodge trucks, which are designed for police work, are pursuit-rated, whereas the Ford truck he currently drives is not.
Stump said he would assign one of the new trucks to a deputy who is on night shift, and take the other new truck himself, that way the Ford truck could be assigned to Det. Tony Mattingly who is not involved in as many pursuits because his work is primarily in criminal investigation.
Mattingly currently drives a 2009 Ford that has over 104,358 miles on it.
Two vehicles will be rotated out of the sheriff’s department and likely into another county office, possibly the planning and zoning office, Stump said.
Cheek made a motion to purchase the two 2013 Dodge trucks, with a second from Judd.
“The prices [on a 2013 Dodge truck] will never get that good again,” Judd said.
Cheek’s motion passed 4-2 with Cheek, Judd, Goodlett and Karrer voting in favor and Moody and Davis voting against.
Quick facts about the sheriff’s department vehicles:
• The vehicle with the most mileage on it is a 2003 Chevy driven by Maj. Carl Reesor, who works in criminal investigation. That vehicle has over 199,173 miles on it.
• The next three highest mileage counts are on vehicles used to transport prisoners — a 2004 Ford with over 188,550 miles, a 2002 Ford with over 146,442 miles and a 2005 Ford with over 123,197 miles.
• Currently, eight of the department’s total 14 vehicles have over 100,000 miles. One of the six remaining vehicles, a 2005 Ford, has over 96,104 miles on it, and the remaining five each have less than 41,000 miles.
• There are currently 14 vehicles in service in the sheriff’s department. If two vehicles were replaced each year, the approximate life of those vehicles would be seven years. Currently, six of the department’s vehicles are seven years old or older. Governmental agencies do not use depreciation on general financial statements, but for comparison's sake, local CPA Sandra Verbeck said a vehicle has typically depreciated its total value in about five years.
• There are two current vehicles in use that are 2002 models, which are over 10 years old.
• Two of the vehicles are 2012 models.