The Union County Sheriff’s Office has bought three new vehicles without the county having to foot any part of the bill.
Sheriff David Taylor announced Friday that, after a long process, his office has acquired a new van, transport car and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). Taylor said the vehicles were purchased through the state procurement process with a federal grant his office applied for in 2009 and received in May of this year. Unlike grants applied for by most other government agencies, Taylor said this grant did not require local matching funds so his office was able to acquire the vehicles without using any county tax money. He added that all the grants his office applies for do not require local matching funds.
“In my campaign promise four years ago I stated that we would pursue federal and state grant monies and it is paying off for the taxpayers,” Taylor said. “We received $59,429 in this federal grant with no matching funds under the Recovery Grant Act. All vehicles were purchased under state procurement process or at state contract pricing.”
Taylor said two of the new vehicles will replace ones currently in use.
“We are replacing a 1989 Ford van that had 297,000 miles with a new van and replacing a transport car with a newer more dependable vehicle,” Taylor said. “The transport vehicle that is being replaced is a 1999 Ford Crown Vic with 130,000 miles.”
The van and the transport car will be assigned to the Union County Jail for the transport of prisoners.
Taylor said the ATV was acquired to enable his office to better operate in rural areas of the county where patrol cars and other vehicles cannot.
“The All Terrain Vehicle will be used in marijuana eradication, search and rescues, transportation to special events within the law enforcement arena,” Taylor said. “The sheriff’s office has no funding to purchase such a vehicle; but obviously there is a need in a rural county like ours for the All Terrain Vehicle.
“Previously, when we had to operate in rough terrain we had to make do with the four-wheelers we have,” he said. “The All Terrain Vehicle not only enables us to operate more effectively in that type of terrain, it also enables us to transport equipment in that we may need in a search or to eradicate a marijuana field or any emergency-type operation.”
The sheriff’s office has has applied for and received a number of grants over the past four years including a grant for $150,000 which Taylor said was used to buy equipment at the jail including a new fingerprint machine and to do an upgrade of the facility’s computer system. He said his office also obtained a $15,000 grant which was used to purchase new Glock pistols.
Taylor said his office will continue to pursue state and federal grants in the future.
“If we don’t go after the money then some other county will reap the benefits,” Taylor said.