Lapel gives nod to LPD vehicle purchase

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LAPEL — Lapel Town Council recommended the purchase of a new Ford F-150 truck for Lapel Police Department during a recent special meeting.
In 2020, the council decided, through financing and a plan from Indiana Bond Bank, to buy vehicles with a five-year lease program and, unlike standard lease financing, own the vehicles at the conclusion of the lease. The vehicles will have a five-year warranty.
The plan was put in place to replace the oldest highest-mileage vehicle in the fleet.
Financing through the IBB includes equipment for the vehicles. It also affords the town the opportunity to create a rotating vehicle replacement plan.
At the meeting July 27, leaders discussed how the truck could be later moved to the town’s utility department.
Council president Chad Blake said the board would recommend to police chief Kelly Naselroad that the town pursue the F-150 over the other options, which included a Ford Explorer and Chevy Tahoe.
With upfitting the vehicle with the police department needs, such as radar guns and radios, Blake said the estimated cost of any of the vehicles would be $55,000 to $58,000.
Blake said the difference came in resale value. The F-150 is about $18,000 to $20,000 compared to the Tahoe ($16,000-$18,000) and Explorer ($10,000-$12,000).
The cost for the vehicle is in the town’s 2022 budget, Blake said.
The council did not choose the vehicle for the police department but did approve a motion to contact the bond bank and begin the financing discussion.
“The process is, if we order a vehicle, we have to submit everything to the bond bank as if we’re buying it from a lot,” Blake said.
Blake said because of a microchip shortage the town is starting the process now in hopes of having a vehicle available in the spring.
The next regular meeting of Lapel Town Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at the Eagles building on Ninth Street. The meetings are also available online. Links to meetings can be found on the town’s Facebook page.