Beaumont police officers will be riding in style after City Council approved the purchase of 30 brand new Chevrolet Tahoes to replace BPD’s aging fleet of Ford Crown Victorias, which Ford has stopped producing.
The approval came at the council’s meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15, by a unanimous vote, but at least one councilman, Ward II Councilman Mike Getz, expressed some concern that the city might not be getting the best deal at a price tag of $845,920 for new police vehicles.
Getz said he found at least one city in Dover, Ohio, that had purchased 2013 Tahoes for less than Beaumont paid.
The city’s chief financial officer, Laura Clark, was quick to point out the particulars, saying the new 2014 Tahoes were purchased using Buy Board, a popular site that complies with state bidding and procurement statutes. The site allows numerous sellers to bid, both local and across the US, making Buy Board the cheapest overall place to buy in bulk.
“The difference between their 2013 Tahoes and ours at the 2013 price was just about $226. We did get the best among all the cooperative purchasing programs. There’s more than just Buy Board, and so we did look at that, and this was the one with the best pricing,” Clark said. “The base price of the 2014 did increase over the base price of the 2013 and we also have quite a few add ons. So, while there was an increase in the cost, it wasn’t exactly apples and apples as far as the models Dover was getting.”
Clark said local car companies bid on BuyBoard as well and, even though the Tahoes are being purchased through Caldwell Country Chevrolet, the warranty of five years or 100,000 miles on each vehicle will be serviced here in Beaumont.
“It’s really beneficial for the city to go through Buy Board when we can and get that volume discount pricing,” said City Manager Kyle Hayes. “It’s worked well for many, many years.”
According to the council agenda, the Tahoe was chosen due to its ease of transferring radios and other equipment from BPD’s existing Crown Victorias.
Chief Jimmy Singletary said the new Tahoes were “safer” and is looking forward to their delivery in the next 60 to 90 days.
Once the city gets the new trucks, 24 of the 30 will go straight to replacing BPD’s Crown Victorias in the patrol division.
“The remaining six vehicles will be outfitted as K9 units. Five of the six units replace existing (K9) vehicles, and the sixth will accommodate an additional K9 team,” according to the council agenda.
Other heavy equipment purchases
The city is also purchasing some big machinery for use on city streets and at the landfill.
Tuesday, council approved the purchase of a Caterpillar D8T dozer from Mustang Cat of Houston in the amount of $654,000 for use by Beaumont’s Solid Waste Division.
According to the council agenda, the dozer will replace one of the city’s aging 2008 models that has some 9,600 hours of use under extreme conditions.
“The old unit has become unreliable and uneconomical to maintain and has been removed from service. A rental unit is being used until delivery of the new unit,” the council agenda says.
The warranty for the dozer is 12 months with unlimited hours. Delivery is expected in the next 60 days. The city intends to finance the dozer along with several other pieces of equipment for various city departments.
Some of the other purchases include:
• Seven 2014 model trucks from Philpott Motors in Nederaland for $264,589
• Six excavators from Waukesha-Pearce Industries of Port Arthur for $258,795
• One boring machine from EKA Inc. of Stone Mountain, Ga., for $106,005
The purchases approved at Tuesday’s council meeting are valued at more than $2.1 million.