County commissioners approved Monday allocating just more than a half-million dollars from the capital expenditure fund to purchase 13 vehicles and one stock trailer.
The money had to be spent by 2014 and was previously earmarked for the construction of a new Precinct 4 barn, a request that was struck down last fall.
“If we take that capital money sitting there and use it for the vehicles, then we won’t be in the hole somewhere looking for $500,000 for vehicles,” said County Judge Bill McElhaney, who has been working on the budget for fiscal year 2013. “It’ll make a huge impact on the state of the union of the budget.”
The departments for which they will be purchased, types of vehicle and costs include:
- Featherlite trailer, Extension office, $27,700
- Precinct 3 constable, truck or sport utility vehicle, $28,000
- Precinct 4 constable, truck or SUV, $28,000
- District attorney’s office, Tahoe, $32,000
- Public Works, one-ton truck without a bed, $40,000
- Sheriff’s Office, nine SUVs, $378,300
The total cost is $534,000.
Commissioner Harry Lamance was concerned about purchasing new vehicles for the constables.
“It’s not imperative that we get (Precinct) 3 and 4 a pickup is it?” he asked. “We’re going to take a beating if we get rid of those Chargers (that constables currently drive).”
McElhaney explained that he felt like a truck or SUV would better navigate the roads. Commissioners purchased a pickup for Precinct 1 Constable Tom Bishop in August 2011 and Precinct 2 Constable Leonard Denney in August 2010.
“I think it’s proven out in Precinct 2 and the one in Precinct 1 that it’s going to work out,” the county judge said.
Lamance asked if spending this money would affect the county’s ability to give employee raises, but McElhaney explained that since this money is from the capital expenditure fund, it had to be used for tangible goods.
By using the fund, it will free up money to be used elsewhere in the budget.
Commissioner Kevin Burns made the motion to approve the re-allocation, and Commissioner Terry Ross seconded it.