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Fire SUV purchase questioned

By James Morton

jmorton@civitasmedia.com

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LaGRANGE — Troup County Commission may purchase an SUV for the Troup County Fire Department.

Diana Evans, county purchasing director, told commissioners at their Friday morning work session that the SUV is in the county-approved budget. However, she must get the purchase approved by the commissioners because it exceeds the budgeted cost.

The budgeted total for the SUV is $25,000. The actual cost of the SUV, a Ford Explorer, is $25,919.

Some commissioners had questions about the purchase of the vehicle.

Commissioner Richard English asked if the vehicle was a replacement or addition.

This spawned discussion about the need for the make and model of the vehicle.

“What is the vehicle type they’re using now?” asked Commissioner Morris Jones.

Troup County Fire Chief Dennis Knight answered: “They’re using a (Ford) Crown Vic(toria) now, which is no longer made.”

Jones asked why the vehicle would go from a car to an SUV. Knight explained that the Crown Victoria was replaced with two models in the Ford line, a car much smaller than the Crown Victoria and the Explorer.

“I’m just trying to get the feeling of what this vehicle is being used for,” Jones said.

Evans explained that the vehicle is used for the shift’s captain to respond to calls.

“It’s for captains to go to a scene of whatever is going on,” Evans said. “This vehicle, like with the (Ford) Crown Vic(toria), will allow them to carry equipment, or whatever they need, to the scene, whereas the other vehicle would not be big enough to hold the equipment.”

Commissioner Tripp Foster asked Troup County Fire Chief Dennis Knight to confirm whether the vehicle would respond to every Troup County fire call. Knight acknowledged that it would and be used by the captain supervising each shift.

Commissioners are set to vote on the purchase at the Tuesday County Commission meeting, set for 9 a.m. in the commission chambers in the first floor of the government center at 100 Ridley Ave.

James Morton is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2154. Follow him on Twitter at @jmorton_LDN.