The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized the sheriff’s department to purchase new patrol cars at its meeting Monday.
The department will receive 15 2013 Dodge Chargers as part of a lease-purchase contract with Jackson-based Joe Usry Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.
Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department will make four annual payments of $102,097.18 for the cars, which cost $26,347 each.
Gladney said he also plans to sell the 17 pre-2009 cars the department has now to offset purchasing costs once the new cars are delivered and ready for use.
District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson commended Chief Deputy Chadd Garnett for generating a majority of the revenue in the increased amount budgeted for the department in the county’s recently passed fiscal year budget.
Sheriff Steve Gladney said the board’s approval will allow for the department to reduce maintenance costs on cars that have wear and tear and high mileage.
“We appreciate the board’s support for this,” he said. “It’s going to give us a chance to replenish our fleet and replace some old cars.”
The board also heard from Slaughter and Associates urban planning firm founder Mike Slaughter about the advantages of developing a capital improvement plan.
“This is a specific plan that is developed by (the board) as well as the citizens of this county that specify in a general way how you want the community to develop over the next 20 to 25 years as opposed to it just being at the whims of developers and where they might want to put something,” Slaughter said. “When you have a piece of property you’d like for it to develop it at its highest and best use, not what some developer out of town or out of state can make the most money at.”
He emphasized the need for implementation tools, such as land-use laws, in ensuring that such a plan is most effective.
“If you develop a comprehensive plan and implementation tools but you don’t enforce them, then it’s really wasting the money (to develop the plan),” he said. “A county that is as progressive and growing like Oktibbeha County could benefit from those.”
District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer mentioned the county previously started a comprehensive planning process with Golden Triangle Planning and Development District, which began with 911 mapping.
“The 911 process took us several years to complete because it was a great undertaking. We have completed it, but we’re still in the implementation process,” Trainer said. “We kind of got stuck with the next step, which would be the comprehensive plan. (GTPDD) was doing that project for us, and they did a good job on the map … but for whatever reason we have not moved forward with the next and most important phase, and that would be actually getting a plan of what we want to do and where we want to go.”
Slaughter said he would be willing to work with GTPDD on drafting a comprehensive plan, an idea Trainer said the board should consider supporting.
“I always have a plan. You all know me. I have plenty of plans, but my problem has been conveying my plans and packaging them in a way where people can support them,” Trainer said. “I think bringing somebody in like Mr. Slaughter or somebody who has expertise in putting these things together can help us to sit down and craft a plan I think the people of this county can embrace, and we can move forward.”
Board President and District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard advised before entering into a contract with Slaughter to discuss the issue with GTPDD since the county is already in a contract with the group for the same reason.