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Additional $168 could be deal breaker for EM police vehicle

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND — Members of the Elk Mound Village Board were not very happy to learn that Northtown Ford in Menomonie had added another $168.50 to the agreed upon price for a new police squad truck for the village.

Travis Hakes, Elk Mound police chief, reported at the November 5 meeting that Northtown Ford was asking for the additional $168.50 on the bid price of $13,300 for a new squad truck.

The village board approved in August buying a new squad vehicle for the police department from Northtown Ford for $13,300 cash and $14,500 in trade for the existing squad truck.

Purchasing a new 2014 squad truck is advantageous for the village because the cab is different on the 2015 models, which means Elk Mound would be unable to transfer $4,000 worth of equipment to a new 2015 vehicle.

The police department currently has $18,000 in the budget to spend on a squad vehicle. A total of $4,500 is set aside every year for purchasing a new vehicle.

Andy Peterson, village president, said he was not in favor of paying the extra money since the village board and Northtown had agreed on a price of $13,300 in cash with a trade-in of $14,500.

Peterson was so upset by the price increase that he used language that would not be appropriate to quote in the Colfax Messenger.

Other village board members agreed that they did not want to pay the additional money.

Paula Turner, village trustee, asked if Hakes had received a written bid from Northtown Ford.

Hakes said that immediately after the August village board meeting, he had e-mailed Northtown Ford about the squad vehicle and that he could print out a series of e-mails for the village board that he had exchanged with Northtown Ford regarding the purchase of a new squad vehicle.

Hakes said that he had ordered the new squad vehicle the next day after the August village board meeting.

The village board approved the purchase “not to exceed $13,300,” Peterson noted.

Transferring equipment from the existing squad to the new truck, along with decals and other graphics to make the vehicle more visible, will cost an additional $4,300.

The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved a motion for a total not to exceed $17,600 for the squad vehicle, transfer of equipment and the new graphics.

Other business

In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board:

• Approved the annual village park lease agreement with the Elk Mound school district in the amount of $500. The school district uses the Elk Mound Lions Club Park for junior varsity and varsity softball.

• Approved the annual mobile home park license for the trailer park in Elk Mound. The annual license application includes a fee of $64, which has been paid, noted Pat Hahn, village clerk-treasurer.

• Postponed setting the village tax levy. Hahn said she was unable to calculate the levy because she was waiting for additional information from the county.

• Scheduled the 2015 budget hearing for the December 3 village board meeting.

• Approved moving forward with updating the village’s all-terrain and utility vehicle ordinance.

• Approved updating the village’s ordinance for mobile tower siting to include changes to state law about cell towers.

• Approved moving forward with an ordinance regarding conditional use permits for mobile telecommunications facilities.

The Elk Mound Village Board has approved buying a new squad vehicle for the police department for $13,300 cash and $14,500 in trade for the existing squad truck.

Travis Hakes, Elk Mound police chief, told the Elk Mound Village Board at the August 6 meeting that while the existing squad truck was not scheduled to be replaced until next year, the 2015 models will soon be out and that significant changes to the new models will mean that Elk Mound would be unable to transfer $4,000 worth of equipment to a new 2015 vehicle.

The cab is a different size in the 2015 models, so the equipment would not transfer, he said.

Elk Mound will lose about $5,000 on the trade-in because the existing squad truck is not a four-wheel-drive, Hakes said.

If the village had spent $23,000 on a four-wheel-drive vehicle four years ago, the trade-in now would be $20,000, he said.

“Four-wheel-drives really hold their resale value,” Hakes said.

The police department budget currently has $18,000 to spend on a squad vehicle, he said, noting that $4,500 is budgeted every year for replacement of the squad.

Police patrols in Elk Mound do not put very many miles on the vehicle, and if the village uses the new squad for six or seven years, and $4,500 is budgeted every year for replacement, when it comes time to replace the 2014 model, perhaps the village board would want to consider transferring the squad vehicle to the public works department, Hakes said.

The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved a motion to purchase the 2014 F150 crew cab four-wheel-drive pickup truck from Northtown Ford in the amount of $13,300 with a trade-in of $14,500 to be used a squad vehicle for the police department.