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County to purchase 30 vehicles

On Tuesday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the purchase of 30 vehicles for county departments using SPLOST V funds.

According to information released in the meeting, 29 of the vehicles will be purchased from Mike Patton Ford and one vehicle will be purchased from Kia of LaGrange. Of that number, 17 vehicles will go to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, five to the road department, one to the county shop, two for the marshal department, one for county building maintenance and two for the Troup County Fire Department. The vehicles were included as one of the purchases to be made with SPLOST funding, however the large number of vehicles in the purchase did draw some questions from the commission, who typically prefers to space out replacement purchases in order to limit the chances of having to replace a large number of vehicles all at once again in the future when the funds might not be available.

“It will be the largest single purchase of vehicles that we have ever had,” Assistant County Manager Eric Mosley said.

Since the TCSO was the one requesting more than half the vehicles, the representatives from the office attended the meeting to answer any questions regarding the purchase.

“[In patrol] we have more than seven cars that are over 150,000 miles,” Major Keith Flory said. “In our court division, we’ve got 10 cars over 200,000 miles. Now, I’m not just talking about mileage, I’m talking about the wear and tear that these cars have been through.”

Commissioner Morris Jones asked if the purchase would result in the county needing to purchase a similar number of vehicles again when these vehicles wear out. Flory said it was possible, but he said the safety of deputies and the public outweighed the financial concern. Jones also asked about the condition of the vehicles currently in use.

“The number one thing is safety,” Flory said. “Just a couple of weeks ago, we had an older Tahoe that was going from the sheriff’s office to the shop — just going up the hill by the dumpster — and the tire fell slap off. This is one of the Tahoes that we use on the interstate trying to chase down these cars. I understand that you want to try to space these things out, but our cars are in really dire need right now.”

Commissioner Richard English asked if the vehicles were being properly maintained, and Flory confirmed noting again that repairs exceeding the cost of the vehicle were not approved.

He also recommended retiring vehicles while they are still working so the county can make more money from the sale.

TCSO is providing $11,190 for the vehicle purchase from drug funds. The total SPLOST expenditure will be $901,394. The vehicles are expected to be delivered within 120 days of the approval.

During the same meeting, the commission approved the sale of 34 vehicles and 10 tractors on Govdeals.com. Davis asked for confirmation that the vehicles were all unused vehicles that have been sitting in need of repairs for a long time.

“They have been there for quite a while, and we’ve been working toward getting pictures of them and getting them ready to upload them to Govdeals,” Mosley said.

Davis also asked that the county staff work to ensure that citizens of Troup County can find information on how to bid on the vehicles.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet again on Sept. 13 at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Avenue.