Sheriff Wallace Whittaker got the go ahead from fiscal court to look into a deal that would involve trading four of the county’s old high milage cruisers, plus some cash, for two newer cars owned by B&J Auto in Auburn.
“This is a good deal,” said Whittaker, after explaining how it would work to the magistrates Tuesday.
“We can either take this deal, or the old cruisers can sit around while we pay insurance on them until we can get them in an auction,” the sheriff added.
The county recently approved the purchase of three used cruisers for $16,500 each that came from the Murray State University’s fleet, purchased through B&J. The two cars Whittaker wants to buy now are also from the school.
“This will put our fleet up to where it needs to be,” said Whittaker.
The two Crown Victorias Whittaker wants are 2010 models, both with 50,000 miles, where as the ones to be traded have over 150,000 miles. Whittaker said B&J owner Phil Bilyeu said he would trade the two newer cruisers for the four old ones that are worth approximately $4,200 each, plus $13,500, which is in the sheriff’s budget. That makes each car going for $15,150.
County Attorney Joe Ross advised the court they may need to take bids first, however, due to the fact the county had made a purchase approximately 30 days ago for the other cruisers, those quotes should still be competitive to use in this deal.
Magistrate Thomas Bouldin wasn’t interested in the details necessarily, only more if Whittaker needed the two crusiers and if it were in his budget.
“I have no problem with the deal as long as the judge and Joe are okay with it. Do we need two more cars in the fleet?” asked Bouldin. Whittaker responded with a “yes.”
Bouldin then made a motion to allow Whittaker to make the deal. His motion passed six to one with Magistrate Joe Orange voting no.
“I’m just not sure, it sounds complicated. I’m going to vote no because something just doesn’t smell right,” said Orange.