UNION — The business portion of Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Union City Council included action regarding Public Safety vehicles and an appointment to the city election commission.
Chief Sam White addressed the council Tuesday evening, recommending the purchase of police vehicles as discussed during the City of Union 2013-2014 Budget Work Session in early spring. During the work session, the Public Safety Department asked council to consider adding one patrol vehicle to the fleet per year for the next six years. The estimated costs for each vehicle are as follows:
- Chevrolet Tahoe — $27,000
- South Carolina Tax — $300
- Emergency Equipment — $11,000
- Reflective Markings — $600
- Total — $38,900
White said that after six years, this would provide each officer with an assigned vehicle.
“This would enable off-duty officers to respond in a more timely manner since they would already be in their equipped vehicle,” White said. “This would eliminate officers from reporting to the fire department, locating their shared vehicle, or finding another way to report to the emergency.”
White provided a list of benefits:
- Improve patrol car longevity and maintain quality condition
- Improve officer satisfaction with employment
- Reduce collisions
- Increase patrol presence
- Increased visibility in the community
- Decrease in response time to call back situations
- Improve officer job performance
- Cars would be in the community, not at the fire department
During the work session in early spring, council decided that if the Public Safety Department was under budget in the current fiscal year by the requested amount, then funding the vehicle out of the 2012-2013 budget would be considered.
White said he believes the department will be well under budget — enough to purchase the vehicle — but he said he would have no way of knowing until the numbers are finalized by the city’s finance department.
Council member Jim Wilson said he thought the decision should be tabled until the numbers were final. Wilson pointed out recent millage increases, saying that one mill was worth about $14,500.
“That (the total cost of the vehicle) would be about two mills we wouldn’t have,” Wilson said, making a motion to table the decision.
White agreed that it was a good idea to wait until the numbers were finalized. The motion unanimously carried.
In other business, council unanimously voted to appoint Melissa Brown to the City of Union Election Commission Board. The vacancy was due to the death of Marion Fant. Brown has been a resident of Union for 39 years and has worked at the polls for a number of years.
“I hope to participate by shaping my community and encouraging citizens to get involved,” Brown stated in a letter to council.