Thursday, August 18, 2016

Called Quorum Court Meeting, Debate About Sheriff's Vehicles

A called meeting of the Bradley County Quorum Court was held Wednesday evening August, 17th.  Seven of the nine JP's were present.  The announced purpose of the meeting was to approve a resolution authorizing the County Judge to apply for a outdoor recreation grant to pay one half of the cost of purchasing land adjacent to the county park for the purpose of expanding the park in the future.  The court approved the resolution by a vote of 7-0.  If the grant is approved in the future, the county would have to come up with something around $121,500.00 to buy the property.

The court then voted 7-0 to waive their pay for the called meeting.

Judge Neely then asked the members to vote to amend the agenda and to add another item to the called meeting.  The Justices voted to do so.

Judge Neely informed the court that at the regular monthly meeting conducted Monday night the 15th of August, the court had approved the purchase of a new sheriff's car to replace a vehicle that was totaled as a result of being damaged by a falling tree during a recent storm.  He indicated he thought the car was to be replace by another car using the insurance money.  The Judge stated he received an invoice for a new truck to replace the car.  He indicated the insurance would pay $25,872.00 and the new truck will cost $27,797.00.  The county will have to pay the difference plus the cost of radios and lights.  He went on to say a car would cost less and there would be sufficient insurance to pay the total price.  He told the court they must decide whether to buy a truck or a car.

Sheriff Rick Anders told the Justices that a truck was more practical and that most sheriffs departments are going to trucks in the rural areas.  Chief Deputy and the presumed sheriff-elect Herschel Tillman agreed with Sheriff Anders.  What followed were a number of questions and comments by several JP's concerning the need for the truck, the difference in the cost of the car vs. the truck,  the overall status of the sheriffs fleet of vehicles and the cost of operation of the car vs. the truck.  Sheriff Anders stated the department has eleven vehicles and only four have under 100,00 miles.

At times there appeared to be some frustration among the court as to the needs and the facts.  Sheriff Anders indicated that he not only needs the new truck but he also needs to purchase another vehicle to replace one of his existing vehicles that have excessive miles and stays in the shop constantly. There was considerable  discourse back and forth among the sheriff, the court and the county judge.

Justice Pat Morman made the motion to buy a new vehicle of the sheriff's choice to replace the car totaled by the tree during the storm.  The cost is to be $27,927.00.  The county will pay any balance in excess of the insurance settlement.  The motion was approved 7-0.

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