PLEASANT VIEW -- The purchase of two new police department vehicles was approved by the city council, but the parks department will have to be satisfied with a hand-me-down truck from the police department for now.
The police vehicles will be purchased for $25,196 each. The truck given to the parks department is a 2004 Dodge Ram 4x4 that's been used by the police department as a part-time vehicle.
City Administrator J.J. Allen said the city had discussed last fall which approach to use in replacing fleet vehicles, a proactive approach or a more passive one. The passive approach was a better fit for the city's budget and will be used, he said, so a dump truck and plow purchase were authorized by the city. Two police vehicles were needed, as well as a public works truck for the parks department.
"Any purchase over $10,000 has to come back to the city (council) to request authorization to order those vehicles," Allen said. He said Police Chief Scott Jackson had found two 2011 Dodge Chargers that another agency had ordered but could not take delivery of, so they became a bargain for Pleasant View.
Councilman Todd Walker questioned why the city had to purchase new vehicles and said the city should look at used vehicles.
Jackson said police miles on a vehicle are different than civilian miles, and the vehicles the city could sell are hitting are reaching the point where their resale value will start declining. "As this plays out, the police department is benefitting from a newer fleet. Public works does get stuck with the leftovers," Allen said. He said it didn't make sense to sell one used truck from the police department and then turn around and purchase a used truck for public works.
"This truck we are replacing is not a high-usage vehicle," Mayor Doug Clifford said.
"Personally, when you look for a vehicle you look for something that's adequate without being extravagant," Councilman Tim Hjorten said. "I'll keep a vehicle for 10 years or more and realize I am not getting the resale value out of it. I don't think we should do this with the city. If a police department vehicle breaks down on the road, that's a problem. If a public works vehicle breaks down it is less critical, there are others to use."
Council members unanimously approved the purchase of the two Chargers for the police department and the transfer of the Dodge Ram truck from the police department to public works.