County approves funds to help Sheriff’s Office buy two vehicles

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The Lincoln County Commission Wednesday unanimously approved allocating $41,000 to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to help purchase two new vehicles.

The money will augment a $50,000 Community Facilities Grant from the USDA Office of Rural Development.

The county originally budgeted $36,000 to go toward the purchase of one vehicle, County Administrator Darren Coldwell told the commissioners.

“Their budget won’t change,” he said. “They’ll just have to take [the extra $5,000] from someplace else.”

The approval came two weeks after Undersheriff Brian Griffeth presented the commissioners with an “aggressive” plan the Sheriff’s Office is considering to upgrade its aging, high-mileage fleet.

The plan proposed buying up to 10 vehicles plus a new jail transport van; trading, selling off or reassigning older vehicles; and forming a new capital improvement plan for replacing vehicles in the future.

Griffeth told the commissioners the proposal was not set in stone, and that his goal was to explore different ways than before of approaching a capital improvement plan.

Griffeth also compared the cost of Chevrolet Tahoes the Sheriff’s Office could purchase through a state program to the amount it paid locally for its two most recently purchased Fords.

The figures he provided indicated that the locally bought vehicles cost $14,000 more each, but he later told The Western News that he misstated the local purchase price.

The locally purchased vehicles cost little more than the Tahoe’s estimated price of $36,500 to $38,000, he said.

The figures he presented to the commissioners on Oct. 10 included additional costs the Sheriff’s Office incurred to finish building out the vehicles for law enforcement use.

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