Commissioners Question Need For 4 New Vehicles

The Mitchell County Commissioners had a busy agenda at their meeting this morning. A 10-minute executive meeting with the commissioners and the county clerk present to discuss non-elected personnel started the meeting. No decisions were made.

Sheriff Doug Daugherty brought back his recommendations on the bids that were received from Beloit Motor Company and Beloit Auto and Truck Plaza on four new 4-wheel drive patrol car vehicles and one full size SUV to be used as an investigation vehicle for the Sheriff Department. At the commissioners request the Sheriff's Department hasn't purchased any new vehicles the last two years so the vehicles they are trading in have a lot of mileage on them, he said.

Beloit Motor Company submitted one bid on a full-sized four-wheel drive 2013 Yukon SUV, in the amount of $46,350 with a trade in of $12,650 for a $33,700 difference on a used Jeep that the Sheriffs Department had gotten on a seizure.

Beloit Auto and Truck Plaza submitted bids as follows: On three Dodge Ram trucks to be used as patrol vehicles at a cost of $25,685 per vehicle times three. The total lease principal on the three pick-ups would be $104,980. This would be three lease payments of $57.000 or four payments of $28,652 a year.

Sheriff Daugherty discussed purchasing a Black 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Special, a vehicle made especially made for law enforcement use that was traded in by the City of Beloit. It has 16,000 miles on it and is equipped with cameras, radar, and lights. It was estimated it has eight or nine thousand dollars worth of equipment on it. The list price is $30.000 and it has a trade in value of $27,500. They would trade the Jeep vehicle in on this vehicle, he said.

Sheriff Daugherty and Dan Geist, the dealership representative, were to come up with an estimated value as to how this would effect the lease agreement. Cooper said it would make a difference whether this transaction was handled as a transfer from one county department to another or go through the dealership. Geist said Beloit Auto & Truck would sell the vehicle back to the county for whatever the dealership has in it. Chairman Cooper asked Daugherty to get all this information together and bring it back to this mornings meeting when Commissioner Jim Marshall would be present to vote on it.

This morning, Sheriff Daugherty, said he especially liked the Black 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Special that was traded in by the City of Beloit. At the end of the three-year lease the vehicle would become the county's property.

Chairman Cooper asked why Daugherty wanted to trade in four vehicles in one year and why this couldn't be spread out to one or two vehicles each year. Daugherty said these vehicles have quite a few miles on them and they are pretty important for them to have to do their job correctly. Cooper asked how many vehicles the department has outside of the ones used to move prisoners. Daugherty said each officer has his own vehicle because when it is their vehicle they take better care of them and put fewer miles on them. They are responsible for keeping all their equipment and personal things in that vehicle.

The three vehicles he wants as part of this trade are for the two new officers and the officer he is in the process of hiring at the present time. Commissioner Tom Claussen asked how many vehicles this makes not including the Sheriff's Challenger and the vans they use to move prisoners? Daugherty said they have eight patrol vehicles on the ground now and this would be one new one. The three new vehicles would go to Officers Schmitt, Holms and Steve.

Daugherty was asked who drives the vehicle with 31 thousand miles on it and answered Bryan Schmitz does. Chairman Cooper said he felt this vehicle should be kept since Schmitz does not drive it to do a lot of patrolling. He felt they should purchase three vehicles instead of four. Commissioner Claussen said he felt they should only buy two vehicles instead of three. Commissioner Jim Marshall made the motion to purchase the 2012 Chevy Tahoe the city traded in and two Dodge Ram pickups. Chairman Cooper seconded the motion. Claussen asked that the record show he opposed the motion. The motion passed.

Daugherty said he was very disappointed to be honest. He thought they were going to have trouble with maintenance on the older vehicles. Dan Geist said he thought the purchase price would remain the same. He would go back and do the paper work and bring it back to the commissioners. The Chairman stressed they need to get this back into a rotation process before next year.

Sheriff Daugherty and Officer Geri McCune met with Commissioners to discuss concerns about doing meals for jail inmates within the facility. McCune's concern was meeting the necessary calorie count and doing meals for diabetics and other allergies. She said she doesn't know how to do this plus some prisoners don't have teeth so have to have a soft diet. She felt they would have to hire another full time officer in order to do this. Commissioners said they are paying $4.23 cents a meal now or $12.00 per prisoner per day and they have to find a way to cut this down
in order to stay within their budget. Several options were discussed. McCune was told to keep looking for a way they can do this.

The hospital has been more than accommodating on the meals and we have no complaints there but this may jeopardize their Medicare reimbursement and we don't want to do that, Commissioner Claussen said.

Matt Schroeder came in to discuss gun rights, constitutional rights. He said, Obama wants to take away our gun rights and this violates our constitutional rights as expressed in the Constitution. This is the first thing Hitler did in Germany and there is not a doubt this is what Obama wants to do. Except in Obama's case voters didn't vote him in so he shouldn't even be the President. He will send in United Nation Troops to take away our guns, Schroeder said.

Commissioner Claussen said he doubts that there would be a way Obama could locate all our guns. Guns made before 1890 have no records. They have been passed down from generation to generation and family to family and they shoot just as well as the newer firearms. The country of Germany is not much bigger than the State of Kansas and the United States is a lot larger than that. As to the recent killings, Claussen said if someone wants to kill someone there are a lot of ways to do it besides a gun. He agrees mentally ill people should to be kept where they need to be.

Schroeder talked about the difference in Peace Government under the almighty God and War Government under the rule of the state and the difference between the Bible and the rule of man. He feels the American people either need to step up and say we have had enough or they better get ready for an all out war. He also asked that the Commissioners no longer tax his property because this is taxation without representation and hey need to make things fair and equitable for everyone in Mitchell County. Commissioners thanked him for coming in and expressing his thoughts.

Sondra Hone, County Health Department, brought in her annual grant application for the commissioners to approve. The total amount of the grant was $105,285.39. This does not include the grant she gets annually from the State of Kansas. The commissioners approved and signed the application.

Larry Emerson brought in paper work for the commissioners to sign to allow his department of exchange Federal fund money in the amount of $165,022.07 for State funds in the amount of $148,519.86. This is the second year they have done it and it worked out really well last year, Emerson said. This saves them from going through a lot of Federal rules and paperwork. They will bank this money and save it to use on a larger project. They used most of the funds they received on last year's projects. The money can be used on asphalt, bridges or anything else they need to use it on.

Emerson said they fought snow all last week because it kept melting and refreezing causing slick spots. The wind kept switching until it was almost worse than the big snowstorm. They will try to get back to graveling if the weather permits.

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