Police Department's fleet of patrol vehicles is getting old and the repairs alone is close to $20,000 a year, Police Chief Kevin R. O'Hara told Borough Council members on Tuesday night.POINT PLEASANT BEACH - The
"We are in dire need for vehicles," O'Hara said as he asked for two new vehicles at the council meeting.
The Council is having a second reading and public comment on an ordinance at the December 17 meeting to fund the purchase of one Ford Explorer, which would be funded from surplus. The ordinance was introduced in a 5-1 vote with Councilman William Mayer dissenting.
The ordinance is one option to fund the fleet additions. The Council also has the option to move funds move funds that had were budgeted on salaries to purchase a vehicle.
Mayer said he was "encouraged" that money was left over in the salaries this year, but he is concerned that the department has not bought a patrol car in the budget since 2007. The borough has borrowed for SUVs to be part of the fleet, but regular squad cars cannot be funded with bonds.
O'Hara said he had requested a squad car last year for this year's budget, but that was removed by the Council. If the request has to wait until the next budget cycle, that can mean a police car may not be ready to join the fleet until September or October, O'Hara said.
The Police Department used to replace two cars a year regularly until about seven years ago, O'Hara said.
Typically a police car has two years as a "front-line vehicle" and then are used for traffic duty or reserves after then, O'Hara said.
State contracts regulate the price and type of vehicle that New Jersey's police departments can use.
O'Hara proposed several options for the Council for purchasing new vehicles. One was to buy two Ford Explorers for $75,398 from Winner Ford. Another was to buy a Dodge Charger from Carman Dodge for $35,830 for a 2014 model or $34,320 for a 2013.
In a separate action, the Borough Council unanimously introduced an ordinance authorizing borrowing up to $455,000 to buy a fire-rescue vehicle.
Deputy Fire Chief John Pasola said the fire department had some of its self contained breathing apparatus, which is more commonly known as an air pack, fail and the ladder on one of its vehicles had melted when the fire department assisted fighting the massive Seaside Heights Boardwalk fire on September 12.
Pasola said equipment budgets had been cut this year and the $455,000 figure was at the high end of what fire-rescue vehicles cost.
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