SE City Council OKs new squad car purchase

SLEEPY EYE — After brief discussion Tuesday, the Sleepy Eye City Council unanimously approved purchasing a new squad car, a 2021 Ford Explorer.

Police Chief Matt Andres said he preferred a gas-powered vehicle instead of a hybrid, which would have cost $3,100 more.

Andres said he was not sure if a hybrid model would be worth the extra cost with all the engine idling of a squad car and extensive electronic gear used in the squad vehicle.

Andres said he tried to get information from other police departments using squads with hybrid, but was unable to get any real time data from other law enforcement agencies.

The $57,394.39 purchase came on a motion by councilor Joann Schmidt, seconded by councilor Doug Pelzel.

The purchase includes a new $4,800 radio, $10,677.99 for new squad equipment including installation, a new $3,437 recommended squad computer and two new squad rifles priced at $3,079.40.

Andres said he preferred getting two new squad rifles instead of one. He said a 2018 squad vehicle with 80,000 miles will be used by the police investigator, who drives about 500 miles a month, when the new vehicle arrives next year.

“Right now, we have two squads (vehicles) for three officers,” Andres said, citing another reason for the purchase.

The council also approved:

* Setting the Truth in Taxation hearing for 7 p.m. at the regular Dec. 8 city council meeting.

* City Attorney Alissa Fischers reported she is updating the city employee handbook.

* a city engineer’s report on the 12th Avenue/St. Mary’s Street and 2020 Street & Utility projects that are moving forward nicely. Newly paved roads are open for the most part and can be driven on if there are no road closed barricades.

* A homeowner who expressed water concerns did not attend the meeting, City Manager Bob Elston said.

“I reached out to the them, but did not hear back,” Elston said.

Councilor Larry Braun was not present at the meeting.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).


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