Bourbon County Sheriff Ron Gray and Undersheriff Bill Martin presented a new proposal for replacement of department vehicles at today’s commissioners’ meeting.
Ron Gray reported that Shepherd Team Auto Plaza had given the low bid on SUV type vehicles of $30, 616.45 per vehicle for a monetary total of $153, 082.25 for 5 vehicles. This price includes the installation of special equipment and electrical work to handle the load of the extra equipment.
Martin mentioned that one existing department vehicle had overheated and had to be shut down several times, and that if it were to happen on a call, it would be a potential embarrassment to the department.
Gray and Martin reported that this purchase would require a $3,970 per month minimum payment for new vehicles, maximum of $4,600 per month. Martin said that he did not want to have the same problem as last year in which vehicles were totaled in accidents, and the financial institution handling the loan would not hand over the title. The reason the financial institution would not give the department the title, Martin said, was that the financial institution required the vehicle loan to be paid in full before they would release the title. “We need a finance institution that says ‘you’ve had an accident, we understand, here’s the title,'” Martin said.
Commissioner Albright asked if drivers in the department had undergone any sort of training for defensive driving, to which Martin replied that 3 officers had done KLC training, one of which was the driver who was rear-ended, costing the department another vehicle in a situation beyond their control despite the officer’s training.
Commissioner Barbara Albright calculated the increase in the budget that would be required to purchase the 5 SUV type vehicles. According to Albright, the purchase would require an increase of $23,810. Commissioner Warren said, “I’m hearing you loud and clear [concerning vehicle shortages], but taxpayers do not want increases [in mill levy].” Warren also brought up the issue of the 2014 budget, saying that the commission does not, at this time, have the authority to approve payments that will extend into 2014. “I don’t think we can give you the go-ahead today until we approve the budget,” Warren said.
According to commissioners, $32,000 has been allotted for Sheriff’s vehicles in the 2013 budget, and the department should get back some money from sale of some of the older vehicles. Martin asked what the $11,000 from insurance for hail damage would be used for, and Commissioner Warren replied that it would go back to the Sheriff’s department. Warren pointed out that the commission would have to amend the budget and involve an auditor before the Sheriff’s department could use that $11,000.