Twenty new cars for LCSD

Greg Wilkerson News Herald

Members of the Loudon County Commission approved a $250,000 request by the Loudon County Sheriff's Department for 10 new police vehicles Monday night.

The purchase mirrors that of a similar request made as part of the budget process in the summer, bringing the total amount to be spent in the current budget to $500,000 for 20 cars. The first ten have not yet been ordered, and County Purchasing Agent Leo Bradshaw said if ordered this week, vehicles could begin arriving in about 6 weeks, with all 20 here by April.

Bradshaw said the department has not yet made any purchases because they were deciding on options, such as whether to buy or lease the vehicles.

With the approval came an understanding the Sheriff's Department would not be approved for an additional $250,000 in the next budget for vehicles. Commissioner Don Miller, who is on the budget committee, explained the county is essentially spending next year's money now to save on maintenance costs in the future.

Commissioners also added a request to the Sheriff's Department to get the newest vehicles on the road with officers who are working to protect the people of Loudon County, though they acknowledged they have no authority to tell the Sheriff how to operate in that regard.

The $250,000 includes the equipment that goes along with the vehicles.

The department made the request because many vehicles in the fleet are aging and repair costs will rise with higher miles, Bradshaw said. Also, the Crown Victoria is not going to be made next year.

Commissioner Austin Shaver cast the lone vote in opposition to the request, saying he wasn't convinced it would result in savings and that such requests should be kept as part of the budget process.