Commissioners approve purchase of vehicle for DA's office

Paving machine purchase approved; county to seek bids on fencing for sheriff's complex

The Shelby County Commissioners Court on Wednesday approved the purchase of a vehicle to be used by the Shelby County District Attorney's Office's investigator.

Center Motors submitted the low bid of $29,995 out of five bids submitted for the vehicle. The bid was for a 2019 Ford Explorer, which was accepted after a motion by Pct. 3 Commissioner Charles Barr.

Pct. 1 Commissioner Roscoe McSwain abstained because he said he has a relative working at one of the dealerships involved in submitting bids.

Other bids were submitted by Wright Chrysler for a 2018 Dodge Charger with a bid of $37,118; Caldwell Country for a 2019 Tahoe with a bid of $34,495; Ray Jones Chevrolet with a bid of $33,249 for a 2019 Tahoe; and by Raymond Motor Co. with a bid of $32,820 for a 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 truck.

“We're happy to be buying local,” Judge Allison Harbison said of the purchase after the meeting.

On a motion by Pct. 4 Commissioner Tom Bellmyer the court approved the purchase of a used paving machine from KNL Dirt Work for $38,000. The equipment will be used in precincts 1 and 2.

Pct. 2 Commissioner Jimmy Lout said the paving machine is a 2007 model with a relatively low 2,052 hours of use logged. He said a new paving machine would have cost the county about $140,000. McSwain said the equipment has the ability to lay down oil and should provide some major savings in the amount of oil used in paving operations by being more efficient.

In other business at the Feb. 6 meeting the court approved seeking bids for fencing for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and Jail complex. Judge Allison Harbison recommended seeking bids because it appears the cost of the fencing project will top $50,000.

Sheriff Willis Blackwell said he will be seeking bids for a 10-foot high chain link fence with three strands of barbed wire and a strand of razor wire at the top of the fencing. He said the proposal will be for enclosing nearly all of the sheriff's office area except the parking area.

In conjunction with improving security measures at the jail, Blackwell said SWEPCO crews are installing new lighting in the jail yard area. The estimated monthly charge for the new lighting is expected to be about $250 a month.

Harbison said one of the advantages of the enhanced lighting is that it will be bright enough for security cameras in use to detect any activity in the yard and surrounding area, including vehicles passing by.

Commissioners also approved the appointment of Shelby County Treasurer Ann Blackwell to serve as the county's representative on the Tri-County Community Action Board of Directors. Harbison said Blackwell has a desire to serve on the board.

“She's willing to do it and will definitely will have the county's best interest at heart,” Harbison said.

In other business commissioners approved paying weekly expenses and the current payroll.