The new vehicles include three new fire trucks for Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services at a total of $1.048 million and 15 new patrol cars for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at a cost of $514,520, said County Manager Jerry Cooper.
Lt. Robbie Kennedy of the fire department said Wednesday the new trucks are expected to be delivered eight months after being custom-built by manufacturer E-One, which is based in Ocala, Fla.
The new engines will replace three of the “oldest trucks in the fleet,” at the fire department, Kennedy said.
Kennedy said the retiring trucks — one of which is 30 years old — will become surplus and will no longer be in use, although they are now only used as backup trucks.
E-One was chosen to be the manufacturer for the new trucks out of a pool of four companies narrowed down by county staff and fire department personnel, who designed an elaborate system for rating the companies, Kennedy said.
Kennedy said the long process of choosing the builder was to “try to get the best bang for the taxpayers’ buck,” which he feels has been accomplished.
Cooper said Tuesday night that one of the other companies in the running was revealed to have uncertified welders working on their trucks.
Before the new engines, which haven’t been assigned to a particular fire station as of yet, are delivered, Kennedy said he and other employees with the fire department plan to go to E-One’s facility in Florida to inspect the machines and go for a test drive.
Cherokee County deputies are also waiting to take a spin in their new vehicles, which are set to be delivered in eight to 12 weeks, said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
The new Sheriff’s Office vehicles will include 10 2014 Dodge Chargers and five 2014 Chevrolet Tahoes and are also being purchased to replace older cars, Baker said.
Baker said it took around two months of researching and collecting quotes before the Sheriff’s Office chose the cars and the dealerships from whom to make the purchases.
Each of the Chargers are being purchased for $23,213 from Adkins Dodge, and the county is paying $26,854 each for the Tahoes from Hardy Chevrolet, Baker said.
On Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners also:
• Unanimously approved $36,000 in grants from the Association County Commissioners of Georgia for Cherokee’s wellness programs;
• Voted unanimously to award a $358,051 contract to low bidder Massana Construction for completing bridge repairs on the Tripp Road Bridge over Mill Creek. Cooper said the bridge was damaged in the 2009 floods. A second bid was received from Sunbelt in the amount of $606,280, Cooper said;
• Unanimously approved receiving $75,000 from Northside Hospital-Cherokee for audio-video upgrades at the conference center in exchange for a four-year extension of the hospital’s naming partnership for the conference center, which is formally named the Cherokee County Administration Building and Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center; and
• Swore in all five new residents sitting on the Cherokee County Resource Recovery Development Authority, including latest additions John Konop and Robert Morrison. Konop and Morrison came on the board Tuesday to replace Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens and Harry Johnston, who, in an expected move, each resigned their posts during the meeting.