ALPENA -A request made by Police Chief Joel Jett to purhcase two new Ford patrol cars was approved by Alpena Municipal Council on Tuesday. The vehicles will help improve an aging fleet of vehicles that are in decline.
The cost of the two vehicles is $24,299 each, but the cost will be offset mostly by grants the department has received.
Jett said there are vehicles in the fleet that date back to 2005 or 2006 and the need to put new cars on the road is paramount to safely serving and protecting the public. He said there is $77,000 in the current budget to purchase cars and a $13,000 United States Department of Agriculture-Road Development Grant that was given to the city and another is pending.
News Photo by Steve Schulwitz
Alpena Police Chief Joel Jett makes a presentation to Alpena Municipal Council before making a request to purchase two new patrol cars. It has been about four years since the department has had a new vehicle and Jett said if new ones aren’t purchased, the current fleet could present safety concerns for the officers. The council approved the purchase.
"We haven't had any new cars for the last three or four years and most or our fleet is aging and over 100,000 miles on them," Jett said. "The rigors and demand put on police vehicles is great. The greatest cost we have is the safety issue. If we have something go wrong it could be catastrophic."
Once the cars are delivered there will be an additional cost to equip them with the tools needed by the police. Jett said the department recycles as many of the parts as it can, but because a switch is being made from Chevy to Ford, a complete makeover is needed. He said the cost of the add-on to the cars could be as much as $8,500 each.
Jett did not give a date when the new cars will be delivered and on the road.
In other business:
the council continued its discussion about what should be included in a city app that is going to be made. At the last meeting the council accepted a proposal to have an app made for $25,000, but the cost is covered by a grant. The only cost the city will have is a $99 fee to have the app updated and maintained.
the council approved a budget amendment for $10,223 for the Fourth of July fireworks and the fireworks during the HOG Rally in Alpena this summer.
a budget amendment for $12,820 for a radio replacement at the Department of Public Works building.
a public hearing is set for Oct. 7 to hear a request from Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Majesky to have the city vacate an undeveloped portion of Monroe Street. No time for the hearing was announced.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com