The town of Camden will soon receive a new police Ford SUV, and the town will also continue work to remedy a poorly installed HVAC system at the Camden Municipal Building.
Camden Town Council approved the purchase of a new police vehicle for $25,987 and $11,150 worth of much needed HVAC work for the 3-year-old Camden Town Hall in two separate, housekeeping votes Monday night.
The Camden Police Department needed to replace one of its Ford police interceptors, a 2004 model with 109,000 miles on it, Chief William Bryson said. In addition, police were faced with the repair of a 2005 model that had sustained damage after a run-in with a deer a week ago, he said.
Per Bryson’s request, Camden Town Council voted 4-0 to authorize police to buy a Ford SUV for $25,987 and to take the fenders and grill off a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria with 109,000 miles and use those parts to repair the 2005 model with 74,000 miles.
Camden received a $3,400 insurance payment for the car that was damaged, he said. However swapping out the parts would cost just $700 in repairs, Bryson said. That move would put the town ahead $2,700, and that money would be put toward the new vehicle.
Besides, the 2004 would have garnered just $1,200 for a trade-in, he said. What was left of the car after the parts swap would then be sold as scrap metal.
The parts swap would also save money on the costs needed for a $750, matching paint job, he added. The paint job would have been needed to make sure the new police car matched the existing fleet.
Vice Mayor Justin T. King said the upgrades to the police fleet were good investments.
“It’s embarrassing when you’re going to a complaint and your vehicle breaks down,” he said. “That has happened. So, to the citizens out here, this is money that is going to be well spent.”
As for the Camden Municipal Building, the relatively new town hall had been plagued by a poor HVAC system that failed to adequately remove humidity during the summer and failed to add humidity in the winter, Town Manager Aaron Chaffinch said. But, the town had worked with John Hyatt Refrigeration & Air Conditioning to remedy the system with ductwork repair.
Prior repairs on the HVAC system had taken place thanks to the federal, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant worth $40,000 that Gov. Jack Markell awarded to Camden to make lighting improvements and HVAC upgrades to the town’s municipal building.
The latest repairs to the second floor were estimated at $11,150, but $600 left from the energy grant knocked that down to about $10,500, Chaffinch said.
Hyatt estimated that it would take two men two weeks to repair the latest job, Chaffinch said. But Hyatt Refrigeration had demonstrated that if a job took less time and manpower, it would charge the town less.
“I can’t guarantee that, but that’s the way we’ve been going with this project,” he said.
Mayor W.G. Edmanson II, King, Councilman Kevin R. Casquarelli and Larry L. Dougherty Sr. then voted to approve the latest work. Councilman John R. Green was absent.
In other town business, W.B. Simpson Elementary School student council president Madison Allen led council in the “Pledge of Allegiance” at the outset of the meeting. Her mother, Jean, then took a picture of Madison with council members.
After the meeting, Edmanson said Madison’s guest appearance was a result of his outreach to Simpson, his daughters’ school, to establish a community and civic connection. He expects the relationship to continue with Simpson and other Caesar Rodney School District schools.