Sheriff’s Office asks for new patrol cars, rifles

Published 12:27 pm Friday, February 17, 2012

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners has applied for a combined $190,000 in loans and grants, to purchase six patrol vehicles for use by the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Georgia State Office Community Programs Division, the county has applied for a direct Community Facilities loan not to exceed $165,000, and a Community Facilities grant not to exceed $25,000. There is no initial financial contribution required by the county.

If awarded, the loan will be repayable over a period of no more than five years, with the first payment due one year from the date of the loan’s closing. The estimated annual payment will be $36,805 per year, based on a tentative interest rate of 3.75 percent.

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Also according to the letter, this loan opportunity is only available to Decatur County because of “an inability to finance this project from your own resources or other credit at reasonable rates and terms.”

Commissioners stated at Tuesday’s board meeting that they have used loan programs like this in the past, to purchase large-value items for the Sheriff’s Office and other departments.

In other public-safety-related business, the board:

• Approved for the Sheriff’s Office to purchase eight AR-15 rifles out of the department’s “asset funds” budget line item.

Undersheriff Wendell Cofer told the board that the low bid was from C3 Defense Inc., of Hiram, Ga., at a cost of $22,253.88. As a part of the agreement, the Sheriff’s Office also agreed to trade in six 15-year-old rifles to the company.

Cofer said the new rifles are required because criminals now commonly have body armor, and the older rifles are not powerful enough to penetrate it.

• Approved the purchase of a $36,656.94 tanker truck from the Georgia Forestry Commission, for use by the Decatur County Fire/Rescue Service. County Administrator Tom Patton said the item has already been budgeted.

• Approved the Georgia Emergency Management Agency-Homeland Security statewide mutual aid and assistance agreement. This document allows GEMA the authority to coordinate assistance between local governments during emergencies, and to provide available resources where needed.

• Formally approved the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is required in order for the county to be eligible for certain forms of federal disaster assistance.