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Lebanon to purchase Crown Victorias for the police

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Dodge Charger was proposed as an alternative

By Stephen Lega

The Lebanon Police Department will be getting 10 new Ford Crown Victorias. The Lebanon City Council approved the purchase during a special-called meeting Friday, March 18.

The council was divided 4-2 in favor of purchasing the Crown Vics from Paul Miller Ford in Lexington. Bill Pickerill of Pickerill Motor Company in Lebanon had presented the council with an option of buying Dodge Chargers instead of the Crown Vics.

Council members Jerry Abell, Denise Fogle, Kenny Marrett and Kate Palagi voted in favor of the Ford vehicles. Council members Jay Grundy and Jim Richardson preferred the Dodges.

Marrett and Palagi both said they would prefer to buy local, but the difference in price — and the subsequent effect it would have on the financing costs — led them to go with the Fords.

Paul Miller Ford has the state bid on the Crown Victorias, which means that dealership could sell the cars for $20,768. Assistant Chief Wally Brady estimated that it would cost $5,200 to install police equipment and put graphics on the vehicles, making the total cost $25,968 per vehicle.

Pickerill said he could get Dodge Chargers with a V6 engine for $21,968 or with a V8 Hemi engine for $22,786.

The estimated cost to install the police equipment on the Chargers was $7,316.90, making the total cost either $29,284.90 (V6) or $30,102.90 (V8 Hemi) per vehicle.

Pickerill argued that the difference in cost would be made up in fuel savings and in reduced travel expenses when cars needed repairs.

Grundy said he preferred to buy the local vehicle, and Richardson said he has driven both the Ford and the Dodge and he felt the Dodge was the better vehicle.

Marrett asked Lebanon Police Chief Joe Bell which vehicle the officers preferred. Bell said the older officers preferred the Crown Vic, while the younger officers preferred the Charger.

In the end, Abell made the motion to purchase the Crown Vic, and Fogle seconded that motion.

According to the plan presented during the special-called meeting on March 16, the city plans to purchase three vehicles outright and finance seven vehicles at 3 percent APR with Farmer's National Bank.