Add the Warren County Sheriff’s Office to the list of vehicle buyers who prefer trucks.

Sheriff Brett Hightower got approval Friday from Warren Fiscal Court to lease nine vehicles for use by six Warren County school resource officers and three detectives, and all nine will be 2020 Dodge Ram 1500 Classic Quad Cab models.

It’s a departure from the Chevrolet Tahoes that have been the choice of the sheriff’s office for years.

Although the total cost of the five-year lease through the Enterprise Fleet Management program is $350,658, Hightower said the switch to trucks makes sense fiscally.

The proposal he presented to fiscal court projected a savings of about $78,000 over the term of the lease, largely because the trucks won’t have as much equipment as the Tahoes.

“These trucks won’t be outfitted like the Tahoes,” the sheriff said. “They will cost less than the police-package Tahoes, and we believe the resale value will be better.”

Hightower said the trucks can be purchased at the end of the five years and then sold through the fleet management program.

“We can sell them and apply that money toward new vehicles,” he said.

Hightower’s proposal wasn’t the only vehicle-related item on Friday’s agenda. The magistrates also approved a proposal from Bowling Green/Warren County Emergency Management to enter into an agreement in which The Medical Center EMS ambulance service leases a 2005 International bus from fiscal court for use in mass-casualty incidents.

According to the agreement, Med Center EMS will lease the bus for $1 per year for five years.

The bus was donated by Warren County Public Schools and is now being modified for use as an ambulance for mass evacuations. It will be outfitted to handle 12 to 20 people on stretchers.

The bus can be used at nursing homes and medical facilities needing mass evacuations or temporary shelters. The bus, which will be the second employed by Med Center EMS, can be used throughout the 10-county southcentral Kentucky region and possibly even in other parts of the state.

The magistrates heard year-end statistics Friday from Warren County Jailer Stephen Harmon, who reported that the jail’s average monthly population in 2019 was 742. The facility has 562 permanent metal bunks.

Harmon also reported that inmates working on the jail’s road crews picked up 1,221 tires and 10,016 bags of litter during 2019. He said jail employees helped 80 inmates receive a license or identification card and 100 inmates obtain birth certificates in 2019.

The jailer said 17 offenders earned GED high school equivalency diplomas in 2019. Inmates participating in various pre-release programs had a total of 60.5 years removed from their sentences during the year. Harmon said those early releases saved the state $786,000.

In other action items, the magistrates:

• approved spending $2,525 for Stewart Richey Construction to replace the grinder pump at Aviation Heritage Park.

• approved the purchase of a Laser Grade Infield machine from ABI Sports Turf at a cost of $35,354. The machine will be used in grading 37 ballfields used for youth sports.

• approved an expenditure of $17,500 (to be reimbursed by the state Division of Real Properties) to C&P Construction for renovation of the Public Advocacy Office in the Warren County Justice Center.

• approved spending $6,870 to Leonard Cardwell for replacement of the engine on the Genie Stick Lift at the Justice Center.

• approved spending $1,300 to Conrad Floors for repairs to a section of the gym floor at Phil Moore Park.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

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