Nelson Cashes CD to Pay Cherokee, Trades for New Police Car

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The Nelson City Council this week voted to cash a $50,000 CD to pay Cherokee for a 2011 fire tax.According to the discussion at the September 4th council meeting, the city owes Cherokee County tax for fire services for 2011. During Tuesday’s meeting, City Clerk Brandy Edwards said the city could not previously pay the tax due to a shortfall in property tax collections. As such, council voted to cash a $50,000 CD to pay for the back-tax Tuesday night. The vote passed unanimously.

Council also voted to trade its present police car for a new vehicle. Currently, the city has a 2006 Dodge Charger police car, in addition to an inoperable Ford Crown Victoria. During the police report, council member Duane Cronic explained a possible trade deal. Here, Cronic referenced a police vehicle analysis report published by the Los Angeles County Police Department, which began testing police vehicles annually in 1974 for the purpose of providing data for law enforcement agencies to assist in their decisions to purchase vehicles. The report presents results of speed tests, brake tests, mechanical evaluation, heat evaluation, communications, ergonomics and price comparisons. Continuing, he compared two vehicles, a Chevy Tahoe and a Ford Interceptor. The base price of the Tahoe is $32,000 before trade-in and the Interceptor is $29,000 before trade-in. Also, the Tahoe gets 15 mpg in the city and 20 on highway; the Interceptor gets 16 in the city and 22 on the highway, according to one source. Additionally, Cronic discussed the engine size and insurance cost. The Tahoe’s 5.7 liter V8 uses 6 quarts of oil, the Interceptor 5. By comparison, the Tahoe and Interceptor use less oil than the Charger, which takes 7 quarts of oil. However, the move to an SUV will cause an increase in insurance.

“Our insurance is going to increase this year by trading in the Charger and going to an SUV $19.52 a year,”

Cronic said,

“a little over a dollar a month.”

The city also plans to donate its police Hummer to the City of Jasper Police Department. Cronic said the city was unable to sell the Hummer, so he recommended donating it to Jasper. He explained that Jasper’s mechanic is willing to repair Nelson’s Crown Victoria at ($150) in exchange for the donation. The Hummer, he said, is costing the city $1,149 a year in insurance, which it will save when it is donated. Nelson will also receive a full refund in the Hummer’s insurance. As such, he said the city should be $1,029 “to the good” by next year’s budget in this area. According to the report, Cronic said the Tahoe has the lowest life-cycle cost for law enforcement vehicles, while calling the Charger “a money-sucking vehicle.”

Council voted to purchase the Tahoe not to exceed $40,000 using SPLOST funds. The vote passed unanimously.

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