County approves purchase of police vehicles

REED CITY — Two new vehicles will join the Osceola County Sheriff's Office road patrol fleet this year.

On Tuesday, the Osceola County Committee of the Whole approved a measure for Undersheriff Justin Halladay to purchase two new vehicles at a cost of $23,734 each during its meeting at the Osceola County Courthouse.

"The money for the purchase is in our budget for 2017," Halladay told county officials.

The bids will go through MiDEAL, an extended purchasing program which allows local units of government to use state contracts to buy goods and services.

"It's going to be a little bit different this year, as the bids were put out statewide from Mount Pleasant, rather than having to go to Lansing."

Halladay told members the vehicles will be all-wheel drive.

Commissioners also approved providing $3,000 from contingency funds to the West Michigan Regional Sobriety Court because of a budget shortfall for 20017.

Sobriety Court Coordinator Susan Guernsey told officials the court received $90,000 in grant funding from the state and will need approximately $111,000 for the budget year.

"We received less than the year before because of the under-utilization of the previous year's grant funds," she explained. "Next year, if we show we are able to spend more than what we received, we can apply for a higher amount."

Started in 2011 by 77th District Court Judge Susan Grant, the sobriety court is a 16- to 24-month program for residents convicted of repeated drinking and driving offenses and requires regular attendance at counseling, frequent interaction with the judge, intensive supervision, frequent drug and alcohol testing and attendance at community support group meetings.

Based on a percentage of current residents in the program, officials approved the amount and welcomed Guernsey to return if additional funding is needed.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, officials approved the following:

  • Scheduling a public hearing for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7 for the county's recreation plan. According to Community Developer Dan Massy, the plan is complete and a public hearing is needed prior to getting approval.
  • The 2017 resolution for tax credit for elderly, disabled residents. County Treasurer Lori Leudeman told officials it allows those residents to receive an extension to May to file their taxes. However, she said, there have been only two or three residents who have requested to do so in the last couple of years.
  • The 2017 Osceola County Investment Policy. Leudeman said the policy, as approved, follows three primary objectives: safety, diversification and return. The treasurer said rates have increase to more than 1 percent.
  • The 2017 Depository Resolution for the county, utilizing local banks and financial institutions.
  • Reimbursement to employees off on sick and accident coverage involving first day hospitalization. There are policy issues that need to be resolved with Mutual of Omaha on hospitalization coverage and claims.

The Committee of the Whole's recommendations were approved later Tuesday morning by the Board of Commissioners.

The next Committee of the Whole meeting is set for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17.