Last updated: January 03. 2014 10:10AM - 493 Views
By - mmurphy@civitasmedia.com

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WAGRAM — The Wagram town board approved the purchase of a new police vehicle during its regular meeting on Thursday.

The SUV, a 2014 Dodge Durango, will replace one of the department’s current cars to maintain a fleet of two. The Wagram Police Department will use the Dodge for patrolling as well as transporting crime scene equipment when needed.

“We need something with more room to carry equipment with,” said Police Chief Kenneth Locklear. “Going to a crime scene and digging through your trunk looking for stuff … the last incident we had, it was aggravating.”

With a purchase price of $37,002, the vehicle will come equipped with a computer, radio, and all other communications necessary for the police department’s use.

“We’re trying to eliminate any future purchases,” Locklear said. “The other (police vehicle) has everything it needs and basically you want to get everything on this one that you need.”

The town board currently has $5,000 budgeted toward the purchase of the car and equipment. The board directed town clerk Phyllis Lowery to explore financing options with BB&T and SunTrust and present her findings — including whether it will be necessary to finance the car’s base price while paying out-of-pocket for the additional equipment — to the board during its February meeting.

In other business, the board approved a budget amendment to appropriate $28,000 in fund balance to pay for unexpected repairs to Howard and Gilchrist streets.

“I didn’t expect this; I thought it was just going to be we needed to basically buy some asphalt and filling in some things,” Lowery said.

Hudson Paving of Rockingham quoted $28,000 to repair 255 feet of Howard Street at the intersection of U.S. 401, as well as 780 feet of Gilchrist Street. The board did not bid that process out, as it was well under the $500,000 threshold required for them to do so.

“We could ask for bids, but normally when we bid, Hudson Paving, we’ve used them for several years and they’ve always come in the lowest,” said Mayor Milton Farmer.

The town has performed basic repairs to both streets for several years, but complete resurfacing will be required in some areas.

“Howard, we definitely need to do something with that because that’s getting really, really bad,” said Farmer, speaking of the street to be repaired. “I’m not sure if 18-wheelers are still going that way or not, but they don’t help things when they go down there, especially if it’s already messed up.”

The board also approved demolition of a small outbuilding near the old town hall building, which is still owned by the town. That work will be performed in-house with expenses incurred only for debris disposal.

“The roof is falling in, it’s leaking through there, it’s holding a lot of water and it’s a place for breeding mosquitoes,” said Lowery.

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