Routt County Sheriff’s Office shifts gears, orders pickups | SteamboatToday.com

Routt County Sheriff’s Office shifts gears, orders pickups

The Routt County Board of Commissioners has authorized sheriff's office plans to purchase four new pickup trucks to replace SUV interceptors.

— Routt County commissioners agreed Tuesday to spend $437,271 on 11 new vehicles primarily for the Road and Bridge Department and the Routt County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said he will be replacing four Ford Interceptors, which are about five years old, with four-wheel-drive pickup trucks. The Interceptors, Wiggins said, have been dependable vehicles but their relatively low ground clearance did not prove to be practical on rougher roads and in particular on U.S. Forest Service roads.

"We were tearing up the undercarriages and exhaust systems," Wiggins said. "We put skid plates on some of them but that took off more clearance."

The purchase was researched by County Road and Bridge field coordinator Geovanny Romero, purchasing manager Marti Hamilton and Wiggins. The vehicles were purchased from Front Range automotive dealerships under pre-determined State of Colorado pricing agreements, which are commonly referred to as "state bids.”

County facilities director Tim Winter, who oversees the purchasing department, said different county departments typically begin to evaluate the longevity of their vehicles at 100,000 miles, but in some cases, they may opt to hang onto an older vehicle that is holding up well and turnover a lower-mileage vehicle that is showing early signs of depreciation.

Winter explained the vehicles are purchased from Front Range dealerships that annually negotiate vehicle prices on behalf of large agencies including the Colorado Department of Transportation. Under the terms of the agreements, the favorable prices offered to state agencies are also offered to local governments.

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The county is purchasing both Ford F150 and Dodge Ram 1500 four-wheel-drive pickup trucks and other vehicles from dealerships that include Spradley Barr Motors in both Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Fort Collins, Elway Automotive and Lakewood Fordland.

Winter said that typically, when the county has contacted local dealerships to bid on fleet vehicles, they have to offer a car package that includes things the county does not need or want. For example, if vehicles destined for law enforcement come with a center console, it has to be removed so that communications and computer equipment can be installed in that space between the seats.

The total budgeted amount includes $82,000 to install law enforcement equipment from Avtech Electronics on the Sheriff's Office vehicles, although Wiggins said he will re-use lighting equipment from the older vehicles when practical.

Motor pool vehicles included in the purchase authorized by the Board of Commissioners this week include a Ford 550 truck that will see double duty as a sander in the winter and a weed sprayer in the summer, and the Department of Human Services is downsizing from a Ford Explorer to a Ford Escape.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1