Borough OKs police car purchase

MUNCY – Muncy Borough Council approved police Chief Jim Dorman’s request to spend up to $20,000 on a new police cruiser Monday night.

The measure was approved by a vote of 4-0. Voting in favor were Ed Feigles, Matilda Noviello, Dana Bertin and Richard Baker. Council members Linda Stein, Karen Richards and Elaine McAleer were absent.

Dorman saw the 2011 Chevy Caprice advertised for sale by Keystone Mid-Atlantic Inc., a company that specializes in outfitting police cruisers and other safety vehicles.

The Caprice is a “show car,” or one that travels between police departments in order to showcase the company’s work, and has only 40,000 miles.

“If it were coming from another municipality, I’d be leery of that mileage,” Dorman said, “but these aren’t ‘hard miles.’ This is just from driving from one police department to the next.”

Feigles asked Dorman how much a new cruiser would cost, rather than a used model.

“It would be approximately $33,000 for a 2014 (model),” Dorman said.

Dorman noted that he already had submitted paperwork to the state Department of Agriculture for a grant for the purchase of a new cruiser – which could be up to $13,000 – before coming across the ad for the used model.

If awarded, however, that money can only be used toward the purchase of a new model.

Dorman said that it will take two weeks to learn whether or not the grant has been approved.

“Why don’t we move forward with purchasing the used (one) while we wait to see if the grant is approved?” asked Noviello. “If it is, then we have money toward a second.”

Feigles agreed, noting there is enough money in the equipment fund to potentially purchase two cruisers if the grant is approved.

“We could double our cruisers,” he said.

Dorman will travel to Cheltenham, a suburb of Philadelphia, later this week to inspect the Caprice in person, and will make a deposit of $1,000 if he determines it is worth the purchase.

In other business, council also unanimously approved the rules for a civil service exam that will be advertised in order to bring in applicants for an additional police officer for the borough.

Council also unanimously approved the appointment of Ed Costello to the Shade Tree Commission.

The next borough council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on March 17 at Myers Elementary, 125 New St.