The Montezuma County Sheriff's Office has been approved to purchase 18 new vehicles with Law Enforcement Authority funds.
Collected from property taxes, Law Enforcement Authority funds were appropriated to the Sheriff's Office for any use in non-incorporated areas. Montezuma County Commissioners on Monday, Jan. 27, approved a five-year lease agreement to buy 18 sheriff's vehicles using LEA funds.
"The current fleet is aging and becoming more expensive to maintain," said Sheriff Dennis Spruell.
Under the agreement, 10 2014 Ford SUV interceptors, five Ford SSV F-150 pickups, two 2014 Ford Econoline vans and one 2014 Ford Expedition will be purchased for a total of $796,961. Sheriff officials are hopeful to have the new vehicles delivered by April.
"We are in dire need of new vehicles," said Undersheriff Lynda Carter.
Carter said that 16 of the office's 59 vehicles have more than 100,000 miles, and 12 others would top 100,000 miles by the end of the year. The 10 SUVs will be pursuit-rated, which are safer and will last longer, Carter said.
Montezuma County Administrator Melissa Brunner said commissioners haven't decided how surplus vehicles would be disposed. In previous years, the county has sold vehicles at public auction.
"With the change of commissioners and the number of potential sales, we will have to examine this process for transparency and location," she said.
According to records, the county was projected to make more than $700,000 in LEA revenues in 2013.
With a four percent interest rate, the 60-month lease-purchase agreement calls for monthly payments of $14,751.