Brewster seeks comments on grant for new police vehicle

— The City Council will host a public hearing Friday to consider comments on a $35,000 federal grant and loan to purchase a new police patrol vehicle.

The hearing is scheduled for noon at City Hall, 105 Third St.

Brewster Police Department has one patrol vehicle for each officer. There are six officers, including Chief Ron Oules.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and loan combination being sought is similar to what the city has been awarded in previous years to replace old patrol vehicles, Oules said.

The city hasn’t received word yet on whether it will receive the funding, and Deputy Clerk Desha Dawson said the public hearing comes at the request of USDA.

Oules said USDA would decide how the amount is split up between the grant and the loan.

“We would obviously like to have it all covered by grant, but it all depends on the funding available,” he said.

As for what kind of vehicle the funding could purchase, Oules said they look for the least costly full-size, four-door model that offers the basic necessary equipment. In this case, it could be a Dodge Charger.

“This is nothing more than a plain state bid patrol vehicle without any ‘bells and whistles,’” he said. “Patrol vehicles cost that much or more to have them fully outfitted and operational. If we did not get a state bid price for the vehicle, the cost would be substantially more.”

The police department replaced one of its vehicles with a Charger in 2012, amid some public outcry. At the time, Oules noted that production on the more traditional Ford Crown Victoria had been discontinued, which is part of the reason the department had to look for an alternative model.

In other business, the council plans to authorize Public Works Director Lynn Lawson to carry out an agreement to transfer $126,168 of unused Federal Aviation Administration entitlement funds to Skagit Regional Airport. The FAA made the transfer request.


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