Two new police cars for the Warsaw Police Department will be coming from a Fort Wayne dealer after a vote by the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety taken today.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer first voted in today’s meeting against purchasing a new mower for the Warsaw Parks Department because the bid was not from a local dealer. Thallemer has been stressing the importance of “buying local” and today held strong to that concept by voting against accepting the lower bid for the mower. He did, however, vote with his B.O.W. board to purchase the police cars from a Fort Wayne dealer.
Thallamer noted the $100 difference in the quote from Hoffman Outdoor Power Equipment in Etna Green and More’s Farm Store in Warsaw should be overlooked to “keep it local.” Park superintendent Larry Plummer said the city buys equipment from both businesses, but requested approval for Hoffman’s mower bid of $5,218.88 v. More’s bid of $5,319.
B.O.W. member Charlie Smith said, “If all bids we accept are local then we shouldn’t go for other bids. I think we have to go with the lowest bid.” Smith made the motion to accept the mower purchase and Jeff Grose agreed.
In the matter of the purchase of two Chevrolet Caprice police cars, however, all three B.O.W. members approved the $50,794.60 purchase from Kelley Chevrolet in Fort Wayne. WPD Chief Scott Whitaker said, “We contacted Lakeside (Chevrolet, Warsaw). Unfortunately they didn’t have the ability to price the 2014 models yet so that wasn’t an option for us. With the specifications, we were limited to what Kelly Chevrolet had in the 2013s. Lakeside did not have the ability to obtain that vehicle; they exhausted their pool of dealer sources and could not get the 2013.”
Whitaker said no Fords were priced “because our fleet staff is pretty much focused on Chevrolets as our primary vehicle.”
The final approval will need to come from the Warsaw Common Council because funds for the purchase will need to be appropriated. The council will vote on the matter during its regular monthly meeting, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19.