By Rosemary K. Otzman
A white 2015 Ford Interceptor AWD Utility vehicle was approved by the Belleville City Council to be its new police car.
The unanimous vote was at Monday’s regular city council meeting. Trustee Tom Fielder was absent.
Police Chief Hal Berriman presented the proposal which was a total of $26,720 and would be paid in three annual installments of $9,473.07 from Gorno Ford in Woodhaven.
Chief Berriman said the car had been lent to the city for test drives and it was still out in the city hall garage for the council to inspect.
Berriman said he checked out General Motors and Ford products, adding, “Dodge doesn’t have what we need.” He said now utility-type vehicles are a growing trend for law enforcement agencies, with about 70% of the police departments buying that type over sedans. He said the percentage is expected to reach 80% over the next few years.
He said Gorno Ford had the state government bid price. And, he noted, the utility vehicles have a better resale value than sedans. The sticker price is $31,795.
He said this model sits the police officer 5 ½ inches higher up than a sedan for better viewing.
Berriman said the all-white vehicle was the only one Gorno had left in stock and he figures they can put black lettering on it to fit in with Belleville’s black and white fleet.
“All-wheel-drive vehicle will be a godsend,” said Fire Chief Brian Loranger, referring to the snow and ice last winter.
Berriman said they will be retiring the 2006 police car. He said the 2005 car works better than the 2006, 2007 or 2009 models.
In the written proposal to the council, Berriman said, “In our present fleet, three of our four vehicles are well in excess of 100,000 miles. If you factor in the actual miles/hours of idling time, slow cruising miles, it would be much higher. Our maintenance/repair bills are increasing as well as the down time for the vehicles.”
There is $20,000 in the budget for a new police car and $10,000 of that will be used to install lights and other police equipment on the vehicle, said City Manager Diana Kollmeyer.
In Monday’s 20-minute meeting, the council:
• Approved paying $749.64 to Hall Signs of Bloomington, IN for 25 signs and 25 green U-channel posts to be used to post no-parking on one side of the streets throughout the Harbor Pointe subdivision, as recommended by Keith Tackett, part-time DPW Director. There were two other price quotes. When people park on both sides of the streets, as they do on Halloween, there has been no room for emergency vehicles to get through the housing development;
• Approved the Community Development Block Grant Amended Urban County Cooperative Agreement, as recommended by City Manager Kollmeyer, who said this is the first amendment to the 2000 agreement. When asked what the changes were, Kollmeyer said, “It all has to do with the agreement between the city and the county … it doesn’t obligate us any more than it obligates them … We want to participate in the CDBG program.” Communities have to approve this to stay in the program;
• Approved $66,954.51 in accounts payable, including the following departmental purchase in excess of $500: to Martin & Sons $535.98 for emergency repairs when the brakes failed on the street sweeper;
• Heard Planning Commission chairman Steve Jones ask when the orange spots painted on the curb for Strawberry Festival are going to be removed and Kollmeyer said she would check on that; and
• Heard Mayor Pro Tem Jack Loria ask about the crosswalks marked in the alley behind the drugstore and one down by the hardware store. He wanted to know where they came from and Mayor Kerreen Conley said the city didn’t put them up.
By Rosemary K. Otzman