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Cornelius News

Town Board OK’s purchase of new police cars

Dec. 18. By Dave Vieser. Get ready to see some new police cars around Cornelius. The Town Board authorized the purchase of seven new $24,000 Dodge Chargers at their Dec. 17 meeting, along with one $31,000 utility vehicle for the Cornelius-Lemley Volunteer Fire Dept. The purchase will be financed by a $200,000, three-year loan from BB&T Bank at an interest rate of 3.01 percent. BB&T was the lowest of six bidders for the finance side of the deal.

The town regularly replaces vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life, “as maintenance and repair costs become extraordinary,” said Andrew Grant, town manager.

The police department has a fleet of 37 marked patrol cars, along with 15 unmarked cars used for traffic enforcement as well as undercover work. The last purchase was in 2018 and department officials estimate they get about 100,000 miles on each vehicle, barring any major engine or body work. “Mileage on a police car is more taxing on a vehicle than a normal car’s mileage due to the idling and equipment that has to operate off of the vehicle,” Grant added.

According to Finance Director Julie Niswonger, the town usually buys the police cars through the state or sheriff’s procurement lists, enabling the town to save money on each purchase.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the commissioners received the annual comprehensive financial report from Finance Director Julie Niswonger for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018. The town was designated with an unmodified “clean opinion” by town auditors and had no questioned costs. It was also noted that the town had an available fund balance, totaling $13.7 million at the conclusion of the fiscal year.

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