Northfield Village to buy police cruiser, pickup truck, siren

KEN LAHMERS
Correspondent
Kent Weeklies

NORTHFIELD – A number of capital improvement purchases were approved by Village Council at its July 22 meeting.

A new Chevy Tahoe police cruiser is expected to cost $36,000, with equipment outfitting expected to add about $20,000 to that figure. The village had budgeted $62,404 for the purchase this year. The vehicle will replace a seven-year-old cruiser.

Up to $30,000 was authorized to buy a Dodge Ram 4x4 to be used as a “chase vehicle” by the fire department, while a new community storm alert siren will cost about $12,000, plus an as yet undetermined amount for mounting and electrical hookup. Fire Chief Jason Buss said it will take from six to 10 weeks for the siren to be delivered.

New dashboard and body cameras for the police department will be purchased from WatchGuard at a cost of $8,595. Also, Buckeye Pumps will provide replacement parts for a sewer system pump station for $5,375.

Buss told council the fire department is looking at replacing a 1991 model fire truck, which has exceeded its recommended lifespan. If a new truck is not purchased, Buss said upgrades to the current truck could cost up to $30,000.

Buss explained many new standards for fire trucks have been adopted since the current truck was purchased. He estimated the cost of the vehicle at $550,000, and said the village could pay it off over a seven- to 10-year period.

Council will consider including the truck in the 2021 budget, and Buss said since it takes several months to order and build the truck, it would not be delivered to the village until late in 2021 or early in 2022.

“I hope we can move forward with the truck,” said Councilwoman Jenn Domzalski. “We’ve been holding off on it for a couple of years.”

Mayor Jesse Nehez cautioned council to be careful about approving any big purchases because of the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s difficult to say the fire truck purchase will happen next year,” he said. “I am very nervous about any big purchases. First priority is to keep all of our employees working.”

Finance Director Jennifer Potvin said the police cruiser, fire department pickup truck and emergency siren purchases all were included in this year’s budget, and she is confident the expenditures will not negatively impact the village’s financial situation.

In another finance-related matter, council OK’d amendments to the 2020 appropriations, including the addition of $120,442 in federal CARES Act coronavirus relief funds and $3,625 in COVID-19 provider relief funds, plus transfers from the general fund to the following funds: fire levy, $240,000; and police pension, $85,000.

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