Hefty cost to replace municipal vehicles
Foothills: MD facing as much as $180,000 bill to replace flooded vehicles
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 06:00 am
It could cost the MD of Foothills as much as $180,000 to replace vehicles damaged in June’s flood.
The MD lost 13 vehicles because they were flooded out and written off by its insurance company.
MD municipal treasurer Bill Robinson said the MD will replace 12 of them, but the insurance will not cover the entire cost to replace the vehicles.
“They’re insured, but you don’t get replacement value,” he said.
He said the MD will have to pay the remaining costs itself.
“I think we’re probably going to be in the neighbourhood of $180,000 we’ll be out of pocket, in total,” he said.
The MD lost four vehicles used by its bylaw and Foothills Patrol officers. Other damaged vehicles were used by public works staff, safety codes officers or were for general office use.
The vehicles were all parked near the MD’s administration offices in downtown High River and couldn’t be moved in time when the flood struck.
“All the office pool trucks were around the office and anybody who was in the office that day who had a truck and was trying to leave and they got caught in the flood,” said Robinson.
Robinson said the MD will see if it can get its costs covered by the provincial Disaster Recover Program, but he doubts it will succeed because the program only pays for uninsurable damages.
Last month, MD council agreed to pay xxxxxx for four new vehicles for its bylaw and Foothills Patrol officers, including a Chevrolet Tahoe for $39,750, a two Dodge Chargers for $30,720 and Ford Police Pursuit Utility Unit for $39,800.
On Aug. 1, MD council agreed to pay about $198,000 for seven additional vehicles.
Robinson said the MD still needs to make a decision on how it will replace one more vehicle.
He said the MD accepted quotes from several local dealerships to find the lowest price.
The bylaw and patrol vehicles are expected to be in place sometime in September or October. In the meantime, peace officers are using vehicles borrowed from other municipalities.
Robinson said he expected to have the seven vehicles approved by council on Aug. 1 in place within a few days.
In the mean time, MD staff have had to use their own vehicles .
According to Robinson, it costs the MD less in the long-run to have its own vehicles than to pay employees’ mileage expenses for using their own vehicles.