Early police vehicle purchase to save Grosse Pointe City money

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 17, 2019

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Taking care of an unexpected purchase now will save Grosse Pointe City money in the future.

Although the purchase of two public safety vehicles wasn’t in the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, the City is buying them now because changes are coming for the 2020 model police interceptor Ford Explorers, Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni told the Grosse Pointe City Council at a meeting March 18. Every four to five years, he said, the automaker updates the vehicles, and the 2020 models would have cost an additional $7,000 to $8,000 apiece as a result.

The City had planned to purchase two vehicles in the coming fiscal year and intended to set aside $70,000 in the 2019-20 budget for that, but Poloni said that amount wouldn’t have covered the vehicles’ cost next year because of the price increase. By purchasing them now, he said they were able to get two 2019 Explorers for a total of $59,217.

“This is a way to save some money,” Poloni said.

Besides the increase in cost for the vehicles themselves, he said the City would realize further savings by not having to buy different-sized equipment to fit the redesigned Explorers. Poloni estimated that the equipment change would have cost another $4,000 more.

Poloni said the City is getting the vehicles from Gorno Ford, “which utilized the bid price under the Oakland County Joint Purchasing Program and thereby satisfies the City’s competitive bid requirements.”

The new vehicles will replace the two oldest vehicles in the patrol division, Poloni said.

An added advantage of buying the vehicles now is that the City will be getting rid of two of its older vehicles, and because they have fewer miles on them since they’re being sold earlier than originally planned, “We’ll get a little better trade-in value,” Poloni said.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the purchase March 18.

Funds for the new vehicles will come from the capital improvements fund, which is where the funds would have been drawn from for the same purchase in the 2019-20 budget, Poloni said.

Whether it’s saving lives or saving money, City officials say their public safety officers deserve kudos.

“You guys keep our streets safe,” City Councilman Andrew Turnbull said. “You do a great job. Keep it up.”