EDMONTON — The purchase of computers for the Edmonton Police Department's cruisers was approved Monday night by the Edmonton City Council.

Mayor Doug Smith explained that the police department had received a grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help fund the purchase.

Police Chief Delaney Wilson obtained an estimate of $52,136 for the cost of the computers when the city applied for the grant.

City Administrator Dawn Devore reported she had spoken with a USDA representative about the grant.

“The grant is for $39,100 over. The city has to come up with $13,036, so if the new updated quote, because we just got an estimate, if the quote is for less than the $52,136, the city's part is still $13,036 and they will give us the difference,” she said. “If it is more, they will still give us $39,100 and we would have to pay more than the $13,000, so we are for sure going to have to be out at least $13,000.”

Devore also told the city council that she had included the expenditure in the city's budget, and that the city can purchase them through a state bid. If for some reason, the city is unable to purchase the computers through the state bid, the city will then have to advertise for bids for the purchase, she said.

“I want to make a motion to approve this because if we don't jump on it, somebody else will,” said Councilwoman Teresa Hamlett.

The city council also voted to purchase a four-wheeled drive SUV for the police department.

In discussing whether or not to purchase the SUV, the mayor explained that one of the police department's cruisers was involved in a crash on Oct. 10 and was totaled.

“The city received $11,145 after the $1,000 deductible. The city bought the vehicle back for $1,405 for parts for three other 2015 Dodge Chargers we have,” he said.

Smith continued that the police cruisers were purchased with USDA grant funds and that the city could return the grant money to the USDA or apply it toward the purchase of another vehicle.

“If we choose to go with another cruiser, it will go into the inspection rotation with the others. Delaney has been looking into the cost and models available,” the mayor said.

The police department is looking at purchasing an SUV to replace one it sold due to it being in rough shape. The police department had intentions of buying another one, but Wilson said it never did.

A 2020 Ford Explorer with four-wheeled drive will cost $33,368. A Dodge Charger with all-wheeled drive will cost around $27,000.

Wilson pointed out the police department could use a four-wheeled drive SUV when there is a large accumulation of snow He also said an all-wheeled drive Dodge Charger can be driven in the snow, but not if there is a snow accumulation of 6 inches or more.

Devore explained the city needs to do something with the $11,000 it received from the city's insurance.

“Either we've got to purchase something with it, or we have to send it back to the USDA,” she said.

Devore also said the city won't have to advertise for bids for the purchase of the SUV if it is bought through the state contract.

“I think we need to take action,” Hamlett said.

Wilson told the city council that he did not know the total cost, but said the SUV would have a police package.

The city council will likely have to approve a budget amendment at a later date for the purchase, Devore said.

In other business: the city council agreed to have a work session on Wednesday with the fire chiefs and the Metcalfe County Volunteer Fire Department's board of directors to discuss improvements to the fire station that have been completed and other work that needs to be done, as well as a policy regarding the use of the fire station by the community; agreed to advertise for sealed bids for the blacktopping of city streets funded by discretionary and municipal road aid funds the city received; and agreed to advertise for the sale of surplus property.

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