Both vehicles will come from the low bidder, LaPrade Government Sales, also known as LGS, based in Cleveland, Georgia. LGS provides "turnkey" emergency vehicles, which are already equipped and ready for work when they roll off the lot.
Cedartown Police Chief Henry King presented the bids to the commission and recommended the LGS bid. Also considered were bids to obtain vehicles through local and area automotive dealerships. However, the LGS bids were lower and the vehicles were immediately available, King said.
To be purchased are a Chevrolet Tahoe sports utility vehicle for the police department’s K-9 officer and dog. King said the larger vehicle will allow Sgt. Jon Zuker to carry all his equipment, the dog, Kai, and also arrested suspects. The smaller truck he uses now does not have room for additional passengers.
“Now, he’s having to call another unit to assist, if he makes a traffic stop and takes someone into custody,” King said. “Instead of having two units tied up, there will just be one.”
The Tahoe will cost $35,141.35 fully equipped. City Manager Charles Akridge noted that this is close to the range of $33,000 to $34,000 that the city paid last year for regular patrol vehicles, which were Ford Crown Victoria sedans.
The second vehicle is a Ford Escape and is to be used by the police detectives. King said the SUV will replace a 13-year-old vehicle that has 186,000 miles on the odometer. It’s costs is $20,010, fully equipped.
The commission briefly discussed purchasing the Chevy Tahoe from LGS and getting the Ford Escape through a local dealer. However, that proposal was quickly dropped when it was learned the car would cost as much as $2,000 more, once transportation and equipment costs were factored in. Plus, the local dealer did not have one in stock for immediate delivery.
The vehicles are being purchased with a portion of the city’s Special Local Option Sales Tax revenue.
In other business Monday, the commission approved, in a 3-2 vote, a proposal to begin charging a fee for roof permits. This permit will be required for roof replacement projects, for residential and commercial construction. Commissioners Scotty Tillery and Dale Tuck approved the motion, with commissioners John Barrett and Gary Martin opposing. Chairman Larry Odom broke the tie in favor of enacting the permit fee.
The fee is on a scheduled according to total project cost and is in line with other construction and repair permit fees. In arguing for the permit, Tillery said the permits are needed to ensure safety. This wasn’t done to generate revenue, he stressed.
Tillery pointed to the example of a church that had to be condemned a few years back. He said the roof had been recovered with three or four extra layers. Eventually the added weight stressed the structural integrity of the building and it began to collapse.
“We don’t want the next person to inherit a problem created by someone ignorant of the codes,” Tillery said.
Also Monday, the commission:
Rejected a proposed increase in the fee charged by the Cedartown Fire Department for service to residents residing outside the city limits. Fire Chief Sammy Stephens said approximately 284 residences are registered, with the owners paying $120 per year. The fee has not increased since 1998. He proposed an increase of $20.
Last year Stephens said the fire department responded to four or five fire calls to these houses, at a cost of around $3,000 total. After some discussion, commissioners noted that revenue from the program far exceeded its annual cost to the city. It was decided to keep the fee unchanged. It was suggested that increasing the fee might discourage participation, possibly even reducing the city’s revenue.
Heard a presentation from Sharon Coffman, of Keep Polk Beautiful. Coffman presented a slide show about the recent all-volunteer landscaping project of the Chaudron Memorial, at the corner of Philpot and Woodland streets. (A story and photos from that event were featured on the front page of The Standard’s Tuesday, Nov. 3 issue).
Heard from Leanne Shelton, Junior Service League, about plans for the 46th Annual Cedar Valley Arts Festival. The event is always held in the last full week of April, and returns to Cedartown on April 23-25. The commission confirmed that the Junior Service League can depend on having the use of Peek Park that weekend.
Heard from Pastor Sidney Ford and a delegation representing the Turner Street Community Park and surrounding community. Ford thanked the commissioners and city staff for their efforts in renovating the park. The group presented a plaque to the city in thanks for their continued help in bettering their community.
Approved the low bid, from Benny Hubbard, to replace the roof of the Woman’s Building on Wissahickon Avenue. The cost is $8,291.34. This also is a SPLOST-funded project.
Formally approved the request of political organizers for the use of Peek Park for another Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party event. The rally will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14.
Approved the expenditure of $4,954 as matching funds for a $19,800 Federal Emergency Management Grant, for the purchase of an additional citywide emergency alert siren. The siren will be mounted on the Polk School District office on College Street, serving the southside area.
Received an update from Akridge about a project to resurface the tennis courts in Peek Park. That project, funded by SPLOST recreation funds, is scheduled to begin Nov. 16 and should take one to two days, he said.
Received an update from Akridge about the ongoing efforts to mitigate abandoned and dilapidated properties within the city. A court order has been granted for a fire-damaged house at 403 Herbert St., he said.
Approved adding a 1994 Chevrolet Camaro to a future surplus sale. The vehicle was part of a drug seizure by city police.