COVINGTON, Ga. - The Covington City Council unanimously approved the purchase of four vehicles, including two pickup trucks, SUV Crossover and a roll-off truck, and new extrication equipment for the Covington Fire Department (CFD).
The four vehicles were split up into four city departments and are planned to replace other city vehicles that have reached their end-of-life.
The first approved vehicle as for a 2018 Ford F-150 pickup truck from Covington Ford in the amount of $28,628, which is $6,372 less than the budgeted allotment. The remaining funds will be used to install LED strobes in the front grill and rear brake lights of the vehicle, as the truck is expected be used for City Marshal services. Covington Ford was the sole bidder for the vehicle.
The council also approved the purchase of a 2018 Dodge Journey from Ginn Chrysler in the amount of $19,008 for the meter reader department. The vehicle is expected to replace another within the department with very high mileage. Ginn was selected as the best bid for the vehicle, versus Covington Ford.
Also approved by the council was the purchase of a 2018 Ford F-15 from Covington Ford for the CFD with a total cost of $25,445. The truck will include four-wheel drive, limited-slip axel and chrome package.
Finally, the council approved the purchase of a 2018 Mack roll-off truck from Nextran Truck Center in the amount of $158,965 for the sanitation department. The truck has an estimated delivery date of Oct. 1. City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said from prior experience, the city has discovered that Mack-built trucks are more reliable.
Councilman Chris Smith wanted to make sure the community knew that even though it seems like the city is purchasing a lot of new cars, the cars would not be considered additional cars in the city’s fleet, but replacement cars instead.
Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said the purchasing of cars is all a part of the city’s budgeting process and determining which departments receive new vehicles each year is done while making the budget.
The Covington City Council also approved the purchase of extrication equipment, otherwise known as Jaws of Life, for CFD. Hurst equipment, supplied by MES-Southeast, was selected as it was the best bid and most compatible with the equipment the fire department already has.
CFD Fire Chief said this purchase would replace equipment bought in 1996 and it comes with a 10-year warranty.
In other action, the council unanimously decided to approve a resolution authorizing execution of Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Transportation Enhancement (TE) Agreement for construction of the Highway 81 and Interstate 20 pedestrian bridge. Knight said this resolution was the next step in the bid-process of the project, but it was not an obligation for the city to actually complete the project. Without the resolution, the council would not be able to review bids on the project or understand the city’s total financial input on the project.
The council also voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the budget to fund Newton County Tomorrow at a rate of $12,000 a year consistent with what was done in the previous year. The approval came with the stipulation that Newton County Tomorrow must provide the council with its measurable goals for the year. Johnston currently serves as the chairman for Newton County Tomorrow.