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City council OKs police car purchase

by Mark Cheffey

Citing stronger than expected financial figures the Palmyra City Council Thursday moved forward with authorizing the purchase of a new police vehicle.

By a unanimous vote, the council authorized the purchase and equipping of a 2021 Ford SUV for $33,580 through Lovegreen Motors and the state bidding system.

The vehicle, the first purchased for the police in two years, replaces one sold earlier this year as part of the department’s vehicle rotation efforts.

Police Chief Eddie Bogue said equipping the vehicle would keep the cost below $40,000 as budgeted for. 

The council held off acting on the purchase until Thursday  when more up-to-date city financial information was available, due to concerns about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on city sales tax revenues.

It was reported during the meeting revenues were comparable to what is normally expected at this time during the fiscal year which started June 1. 

In other police department related discussion, Mayor Loren Graham said he and Bogue would be visiting with Kirt Malone, Palmyra R-I School superintendent, about the possibility of suspending the school resource officer program shared by the district and police department.

The program has allowed a  police officer to serve out of an office at the high school to provide protection against armed intruders.

However, Bogue has expressed concern about continuing the program due to his department’s recent manpower shortage.

“We have to take care of the community first,” Bogue said.

Bogue reported extending a conditional officer to fill an opening, noting the applicant would have to attend a police academy, and would not be available upon passing the program until early next year.

In other council action, members voted unanimously for the city to execute its option to repurchase five acres within the Warren Head Business Park for $5,000 an acre from Estelbrook Enterprise, LLC.

The council tabled action on a proposed contract with McClain Consulting, LLC to provide IT consulting and services for all city departments until more detailed information could be obtained.

Under the contract, the city would pay $300 per month for certain IT services during the duration of the contract.