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NEWPORT CITY â€“ The Newport City Council Monday scrambled to sign a resolution for the police departmentâ€™s new 2013 Ford Interceptor cruisers â€“ both of them, even though the council had initially approved the purchase or lease of only one.
â€śWe need to approve it because the police cars have already been delivered,â€ť said city manager John Ward Jr. â€śThey were ordered in January.â€ť
The department also had to order a new cage for the cruisers because the existing ones don't fit the new cruisers.
The cars will cost the city $54,000. At the end of a three-year lease, the city will be able to purchase the cruisers.
The police department ended up with one more cruiser than what was in the budget, which was a mistake, said Ward. However, the city needs both cruisers, he added, because neither the 2008 Chevrolet Impala nor the 2007 Ford are road worthy.
â€śWe can find the money in the budget to cover the extra cost by cutting some other expense,â€ť said Ward.
The city will need about $5,000 more to make up the difference. â€śAt some point in time, weâ€™ll come and ask for a budget adjustment.â€ť
The adjustment would be to change allocation and not a spending increase.
The council didnâ€™t take the extra cruiser lightly. Mayor Paul Monette told Ward to make sure it doesnâ€™t happen again.
â€śYou donâ€™t need to say that,â€ť said Ward. The car, said Ward, was ordered even though he issued a memo at the beginning of the year that states no capital equipment was to be ordered without his approve. â€śSometimes thatâ€™s life, nothing I can do about it. It was done and theyâ€™ve been delivered. We need them. We have to take them. Hopefully it wonâ€™t happen again.â€ť
The cars were outfitted and painted before the mayor signed the resolution, said Alderman Tim de la Bruere. He also said the council declined former Chief J. Paul Duquetteâ€™s request to buy two cruisers.
The city should have taken Duquetteâ€™s advice when he asked for a new cruiser in 2010, Ward said. Ward also said Duquette was under the impression he had approval for two cruisers.
The city will sell the old cruisers, but doesnâ€™t expect it will receive much money for them.
â€śBy the time weâ€™re done with them, theyâ€™re not road worthy,â€ť said Ward. â€śThey need lots of work. The engines have been used pretty hard.â€ť