Two cars short due to city budget issues, the Fenton Police Department is asking council to approve $25,747 for a Chevrolet Tahoe. The two-wheel drive vehicle needs $7,497 in emergency equipment as well, such as overhead lights, cage to separate the front from the back seats, front push bar and lettering, said Chief of Police Rick Aro.
The police department went two years without a vehicle purchase, and Aro was hoping for two last year. But Fenton was able to purchase one last year, he said. Now the police are in need of two vehicles but are asking for one. He will request two in the next budget year, Aro added.
Compared with other types of vehicles, such as Caprices and Impalas, he believes the Tahoe is “more car for the money,” Aro said. When new types of vehicles become available, he’ll look at them.
Mayor Sue Osborn said council will discuss the request for the two additional vehicles during budget time. She can see how the vehicle should be a Tahoe now, Osborn said, since it’s protection for the city’s officers.
City Manager Lynn Markland said Chevrolet is coming out with a new vehicle, but city staff doesn’t know the details or timeline for it yet.
Councilman Brad Jacob said he likes the Tahoe and agrees with Aro that it’s more for Fenton’s money.
The $25,747 for a Tahoe is an increase of $116 from 2011, Aro said. In addition, the cost of the emergency equipment for the vehicle is more than in years past, because the old equipment doesn’t fit the new model year.
Councilman Les Bland asked whether the amount falls within what the police department budgeted.
Aro replied it does.
Councilman Ben Smith asked whether the Fenton Police Department will retire a vehicle when it receives the new one.
Aro said the vehicle, a Tahoe, is several years old and has more than 140,000 miles on it. It won’t be used on patrol anymore. But the department will keep it as a spare if a car is inoperable, or if a large event takes place.