Miller had sought permission to go out for bids on an SUV
prior to the end of the old fiscal year. When the bids came in, the
motion regarding the purchase of a vehicle was tabled until after
Last week, at the first voting session of the new fiscal
year, the motion to purchase the vehicle failed by a vote of 5-3.
Even though the motion carried by a majority vote of members
present, two aldermen were absent for the evening, so a clear
majority of elected officials could not be determined.
After the motion failed, the council discussed whether or not the
subject could still be discussed at the Tuesday meeting, and it was
determined that it could.
In the meantime, Miller was also asked to verify that the bids
placed by Graue Chevrolet and Lincoln Chrysler Dodge & Jeep would
still be honored by the dealerships.
Tuesday night, Miller first told the council he had contacted the
dealerships, and both were still willing to honor the bids they had
Last week the question came up: Did the chief really need an SUV,
or could he use a car again?
Miller spoke about the amount of equipment he carries in his car.
He noted the trunk is always full, as is the back seat much of time.
In addition, he said there were other items there is no room for
that he could have in his vehicle.
He said one of the advantages to the SUV would be the storage
Another question that came up was why the chief had requested
bids for a two-wheel drive vehicle instead of a four-wheel drive.
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Miller said that in considering this, he looked at the tow rating
of two-wheel versus four-wheel, and the two-wheel drive had a higher
rating, which was more important than the all-weather capabilities
of the four-wheel drive.
He said last year was a mild winter, but personal vehicles had
been used on the occasions when a four-wheel drive had been needed.
He said one important aspect of the department's current pickup
truck is that it is used for towing. He said the truck is in good
condition, well taken care of and looks great, but the fact is, it
too is a 1999 model. Miller feels that keeping the truck in good
working order might include using it less for towing of equipment.
In addition, when looking at two-wheel drive versus four-wheel
drive, Miller said the gas mileage differences were worth
And finally, he said with the two-wheel drive, the department
would be able to do some of the service work themselves, which would
also save the city money.
At the end of his presentation, there was very little discussion
from the council. Alderwoman Kathy Horn asked that the motion be put
back on the voting agenda for next Monday night.
[By NILA SMITH]