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Valley police cars cost more than expected

VALLEY — The City of Valley is purchasing three new police vehicles but  at a higher price than what was expected.

At Monday evening’s city council meeting. a resolution was unanimously approved to purchase three 2020 police package four-door utility vehicles from King Ford at a price of $96,935,44, or $32,311.88 per vehicle. The city replaces police cars on a regular cycle, and the last time three SUVs were purchased they were in the range of $28,000 each. The purchase prices has gone up some $4,300 per vehicle since then.

“Had we bid this in December it would have cost us $1,100 more,” Police Chief Tommy Weldon said.

The purchase was an agenda item for the January Jan. 13  meeting but was pulled .to allow Mayor Leonard Riley to negotiate a lower price. There weren’t ,many options to consider. The King bid was the only one offered, and there’s no state bid option right now. Chief Weldon said he looked at what other states were doing and found the state bids in other nearby states were only slightly lower than the King bid, and an Alabama city couldn’t purchase from those lists.

“We feel like this is a fair price,” the mayor said. “Ford went up on them this year, and there’s not as many rebates as there were in the past.”

In other action Monday, the council approved a consent agenda item to renew a hardware and software support agreement between DataWorks Plus LLC, Greenville, South Carolina and the Valley Police Department. It’s an annual maintenance agreement for the maintenance of fingerprint equipment. The city pays DataWorks Plus $2,100 a year to do it.

Planning & Development Director Travis Carter reported to the council that 13 new homes had been built in the city in 2019. He said that they are in the $92,000 price range.

“We had 239 residential upgrades and 45 commercial projects last year,” Carter said. “There was lots of work going on.”

Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount said that Valley swimmers had recently done well in a big meet in Columbus.  A 14 and under girls’ relay team captured a first-place award, the 14 and under girls placed second in the 200- meter medley and the 12 and under boys placed third in the 200m medley.

“We should be very proud of them,” she said. “It was the largest meet Columbus has hosted.”

The Piedmont Motorsports team placed second overall and Connor Green won first place in a tire changing event in a pit crew challenge.

At 9 a.m. on Friday (weather permitting) some small trees, shrubs and flowers will be planted along Moore’s Creek on the part of the stream that was recently straightened in a sedimentation project. Volunteers are welcome to assist.