The Douglas County Sheriff's Department is saving nearly $1,500 on each of seven new vehicles by tapping into a regional bid cooperative.
"With the budget cuts and everything else, we're looking at everything for ways to establish cost savings," said Jackie Waggoner, the county's purchasing agent. "Everybody's looking at cooperative contracts now."
Douglas County commissioners agreed Monday to buy the Chevrolet Impalas for a total of $133,805 from Roberts Auto Plaza in Platte City, Mo.
The county used prices solicited by the Mid-America Council of Public Purchasing, a group of 13 area governments that includes Lawrence, Baldwin and Eudora. Ten dealerships submitted prices on 33 different types of vehicles.
Among them was one for the full-size, four-door, front-wheel-drive police sedan. Cooperative members pay $17,200 for each Impala this year, down from the $18,693 bid the county received on its own a year ago. The county would have paid $20,231 for an Impala in 2001.
The county's seven Impalas will be among more than 400 vehicles bought by cooperative members this year.
"Anytime you increase your volume, it has the potential of saving money," Waggoner said.
The county did agree to kick in extra money for a couple options on its new patrol cars:
- $225 for flashing lights on the rear of the car, to alert approaching drivers of the officer's presence when a raised trunk lid blocks the rooftop lights from view.
- $75 for heavy-duty flooring, to reduce wear and to allow easier cleaning.
After adding in the costs of transferring and installing communications and other equipment, the bill for each new cruiser tops out at $19,115.
"You can't beat that," Commissioner Jere McElhaney said.
The new cars are expected to be delivered within four months. The old cars will be sold at auction; each of the Impalas sold last year went for about $4,500.