Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham asks Hammond to seek fuel-sipping patrol cars

Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham asks Hammond to seek fuel-sipping patrol cars

March 1st, 2013 by Louie Brogdon in Local Regional News

District 6 Commissioner Joe Graham

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham is asking the sheriff to move his patrol fleet in a greener, more fuel-efficient direction.

Commissioners agreed Thursday during an agenda session to vote next week on a bid by Don Ledford Auto Park on pricing for five new patrol cars for the sheriff's office.

Sheriff Jim Hammond is asking the commission to let him buy five 2013 Chevrolet Impala patrol cars for $104,160.

Graham asked Hammond on Thursday to look into buying more fuel-efficient cars, even if they cost a few thousand dollars more.

The Impalas are V-6s and get 17 miles to the gallon, according to bid records.

Graham said there are plenty of other more cost- and fuel-efficient options for police.

He said Red Bank recently replaced a set of fuel-guzzling Dodge Chargers with Volkswagen Passats, which he said were rated at 40 miles per gallon.

"I'm not endorsing one automobile or the other. I'm endorsing 40 miles to the gallon," Graham said.

He said he would not block the sheriff from getting the Impalas but added that rising fuel costs should be considered in patrol car purchases.

"If a V-6 is only getting 17 miles to the gallon, I still think we are going in the wrong direction," Graham said.

In other business, commissioners:

• Agreed to vote on a $36,165 bid by Broadway Electric Service Corp. to install an intercom system at Ooltewah Elementary School.

• Agreed to vote whether to accept a $79,450 bid by ClearLine Networks to install cable at Ooltewah Elementary School.

• Agreed to vote whether to accept the bids of Bliss Products & Services and Lanier Plans and others for contract pricing for mulch for county playgrounds.