Fitzgerald said the department could cover the cost of the lease agreement with salary funds from position vacancies and CARES Act money. The pandemic relief funds will help the department offset overtime costs, Fitzgerald said. He said he anticipates the initial costs totaling about $56,000.
Weidner said vacancies can cause overtime costs to increase significantly. She said the department used 85% of its overtime funding in December, and the fiscal year ends July 1. She said the department overspent on salary costs. She needed more information about the vacancies, she said.
She worried about vehicles getting wrecked or damaged by weather, which could hurt Enterprise’s ability to make a profit on resales. That would negate the city’s revenue from the lease agreement. Fitzgerald said there is no history of vehicles being damaged by extreme weather incidents, and regardless, he said they would have to be replaced.
The new presidential administration could institute new regulations that also hurt resale values, Weidner said.
Councilman Dave Boesen said the agreement is a cost-saving measure even if the city initially loses money on the deal. The last time the city budgeted for a new investigative police vehicle was 2017, he said.
Police said the city underfunded its vehicle purchases for years, which forced the department to prioritize marked car repairs and replacements over unmarked cars.