ANDERSON – The Madison County Council approved a $170,000 appropriation for the purchase of 10 new patrol cars, after discussion about where to obtain the funding.
The council voted to provide the funding from the County Option Income Tax (COIT) fund instead of the County Public Safety Fund.
Councilman Rick Gardner asked during last week’s meeting how much of the COIT funds has not been appropriated for 2014. The fund has a current cash balance of $7.6 million with projected revenues of $8.5 million in 2014.
Gardner did make a motion to take the funds for the cars from the Public Safety Fund, but it was defeated 4-2. Councilman Dave McCartney cast the other vote in favor.
Maj. Brian Bell with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department said prior to the vote that the council has been providing $220,000 for the purchase of new cars for the past seven years.
The department plans to purchase 10 new patrol cars to replace vehicles with between 91,000 and 115,000 miles. Bell said the average was 110,000 miles.
Last year the department purchased eight new vehicles.
“The cars get replaced every three or four years,” Bell said.
Bell said for the past five years the department has been purchasing the vehicles through the state bid package through a Dodge dealer.
“The local dealers aren’t interested in bidding on the patrol cars,” he said.
The cars will be purchased through a one-year lease, which will be paid off in 2015.
In other business: The council approved the purchase of an automated sand-bagger and trailer requested by the Emergency Management Agency from the COIT fund at a cost of $10,650.
Dan Dykes, Madison County administrator, said currently the county borrows the sand-bagger from the city of Anderson.
He said the sand-bagger can fill between 700 and 900 sand bags per hour and will be stored at the Madison County Highway Department garage.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.