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Floyd County Sheriff's Office will try leasing vehicles

Floyd County Sheriff's Office will try leasing vehicles

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Floyd County Sheriff Brian Craig received unanimous approval Tuesday from the Board of Supervisors to pursue a trial of leasing department vehicles, including patrol cruisers, a move that could reduce costs of maintaining the fleet and avoiding high mileage units that break down and pose safety risks.

In a presentation to the Board, Craig said Enterprise Leasing could provide five vehicles at the same cost to his department at $30,164.76 a year. The department had budgeted about $70,000 to purchase two new police patrol units. Craig said the costs will fall as more units are added to the fleet.

Enterprise would replace leased patrol cars and SUV units at 80,000 miles, avoiding the department’s aging fleet with odometers topping 150,000 miles up to 200,000.

County Administrator Terri Morris told the Board her work with Craig on the lease-purchase agreement with Enterprise could also result in savings on other county vehicles obtained through leases.

“The only downside is that they don’t lease trash haulers,” she said, which brought a laugh from the Supervisors and those in the audience.

Craig said the heads of other law enforcement agencies in Virginia gave him positive reviews of their programs with Enterprise. He said a high mileage Ford Crown Victoria unit was totaled last week after hitting a deer and the insurance company paid out $2,000 on the high-mileage vehicle, which did not come close to covering the cost of buying a replacement.

As part of the lease agreement, Enterprise will deliver police units with logs and graphics in place and radios installed.

He said he plans to start with a small number of units – two patrol cars and three SUVs -- to see if the plan meets his expectations and delivers promised value to the county.

Board Chairman Lauren Yoder, who represents the Locust Grove District, praised Craig’s efforts and said he “appreciates you’re looking out for the bottom line.”

Craig said the new units will improve morale of the officers using them and provide newer and better-looking police units that will provide lower maintenance costs.

In another matter Tuesday, the Supervisors set a public hearing on a proposed change in tax relief for elderly and disabled homeowners.

The county’s Commissioner of the Revenue, Lisa Baker, is recommending such tax relief be available to those with a gross income of $25,000 or less and a net property worth of up to $100,000. The Board last set the relief in 2007 for those with a gross income of $20,650 and a net worth of $75,000.

The hearing is set for September 25 at 7:30 p.m. during the Board’s second regular meeting that month.

In the Board’s public comment period, county resident Roger Dickerson rebuked the Board for “shelving the shell building” proposed by the Economic Development Authority in the economic park on Christiansburg Pike.

Although Board members traditionally do not respond to public comments during that session, Courthouse Supervisor Jerry Boothe met with Dickerson during a break and explained that the Board’s action in September was to not allocate the $2 million set aside for the building until it sees a definitive proposal from the EDA along with exact cost estimates.

“We did not table the shell building,” Boothe told The Floyd Press after Tuesday’s meeting. “The funds are still in the budget to be used when the design and plans are presented the Board.”

The Floyd Press reported in September that the Supervisors withheld the allocation for the reasons Boothe listed Tuesday.

In a second comment, Bob Smith of Indian Valley again urged the Board to say “no” to any proposal for cluster development subdivisions in the county.

In other action Tuesday:

--The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reported the current schedule for the pedestrian improvement project for downtown Floyd is expected to go out for bid in December of this year or January 2019 with the hope construction will begin in 2019;

--The Board approved Night Sky Drive, NE as the name of a private road off Bethlehem Church Rd, NE;

--Supervisors, by resolution, set the annual computations for the Personal Property Tax Relief act of 1998 by the General Assembly;

--The Board accepted the official abstracts of vote counts for the June 2018 Democratic and Republican primary elections in the county;

--Supervisors will meet twice again in August – with the County Planning Commission on Tuesday, August 22 at 6 p.m. on proposed changes to the family subdivision ordinance and again on August 28, also a Tuesday, for the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting at 7:00 p.m.

--Supervisors met behind closed doors in an “executive session” to discuss or consider acquisition of real property for a public purpose or the disposition of publicly held real property. No public matters were taken up after the session.

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