East Carbon decides to lease police patrol SUV
East Carbon recently hired a fourth police officer to provide 24-hour protection for the residents of the city and Sunnyside. But the town only had three police vehicles.
East Carbon officials resolved the situation on Jan. 11 when the council decided to lease a new four-wheel drive sports utility vehicle so all the city's law enforcement officers will have patrol cars
"We have budgeted for a vehicle and we now need one so I think we should make a decision," said Mayor Dale Andrews.
East Carbon officials had considered buying a 2- year-old SUV from Sunnyside left over from when the neighboring town had a police force.
But East Carbon council members decided they would prefer a new vehicle, primarily because they felt Sunnyside's asking price was too high.
"Besides, I would prefer we get a new one with a warranty," pointed out Councilwoman Darlene Kuhns.
The discussion then focused on whether to buy the patrol vehicle from a state bid or a different dealer. Prior to the Jan. 11 meeting, one dealer apparently indicated to East Carbon officials that he could not go below state bid, but could get the equipment for the vehicle installed at a lower price.
But when the council reviewed the payments, the officials found that the vehicle with the lower equipment price would cost the city more per month than the state bid.
East Carbon officials decided that the city would lease a new Explorer for the police department from Butterfield Ford, the state's low bidder.
With the installation of the equipment, the entire cost of the Explorer will be $30,159.83. Payments for the city on a four-year lease will be $8,150 annually.
"We need to think about the fact that one of our other police vehicles is getting quite old, too," pointed out Andrews. "So we will need to replace that one soon."
The transaction will be a lease-purchase situation, with the city acquiring the police patrol SUV at the end of the four-year period.
Acting on an unrelated business matter at the meeting, the council discussed the problems associated with dogs that are loose at times in the community.
"There have been a lot of problems with dog complaints lately," said Councilwoman Joyce Caviness. "Many of those complaints concern big dogs that have been getting into garbage cans and tearing up the trash."
Councilman Dave Maggio said that he thought the town had that problem licked at one time, but apparently it has returned. The council discussed what action could be taken, because a lot of the problems are being caused by dogs that are unlicensed.
"I think we will be solving some of the problem with this shortly," stated Andrews. "Now that we have four officers in town, we will be going door to door in February to make sure dogs that are at residences are legal."
Maggio also asked for help with the 2005 Community Daze celebration.
"Each year, it rotates between us and Sunnyside," he said. "This year it is our turn. Somehow in the past few years it has been turned into city council days instead of a community thing. We need help to put it on; the council can't do it themselves."
Liz Ferguson of the East Carbon Community Development Coalition said that members would discuss the issue at the next meeting to see if help for the summer celebration couled be mustered from the group.
Addressing a different matter, Ferguson asked East Carbon officials if the coalition could start conducting the group's meetings at the old city hall rather than the ABC Learning Center.
"One of our problems with that building is that there are so many stairs," explained Ferguson. "We have a lot of people who can't manage those and we need somewhere that is more accessible to the handicapped."
The council voiced no concerns about the coalition using the building, except that there may not be enough chairs for the meetings.
Ferguson said she thought the group could borrow some chairs for the gatherings.
On another matter, Kuhns reported that a recent fundraiser brought in $497.45 for the fire department. She said the volunteer fire fighter force was strong with 12 men showing up for all the meetings. And the expanded force has been helping in other ways as well.
"One of the things the fire department is now doing is to go with the ambulance crew to help with lifting when they have patients to move," said Kuhns. "It think that has been helpful to them."
There was also a discussion on what to do about the BMX track that is no longer being used for organized bicycle races.
"Last fall I was talking about wanting to do something with that track," said Councilman Joe Manley. "I'm afraid the whole place is being destroyed. We either need to get someone to take care of the buildings out there or we need to tear them down.
The council discussed how local youth are still using and enjoying the track, although the buildings left at the site could become a safety hazard.
"Maybe we can find someone who wants to step forward who can run it," said Andrews. The mayor suggested that the coalition might want to take up that subject.
But the consensus of the council appeared to favor tearing down buildings that could not be utilized in present form.