Police Chief Charlie Sewell said that when he started with the city on Aug. 1, the police department's two motorcycles were being used only as transportation for officers to get to and from home.
“All they were being used for was to transport two officers home and back to work," he told the City Council at Wednesday's work session. "The other employees didn’t have the benefit of a car to drive home and the city gas, so I didn’t think it was fair to all the other employees."
The motorcycles are now “sitting collecting dust," the chief said.
But Sewell came back to the council on Wednesday with a plan he hopes will lead to more money from the sale: leaving all the police gear on them and selling them to another police agency through sealed bids.
“We feel like we could get more money with the equipment on," he said.
If the council approves the resolution Monday, the city will be able to advertise the motorcycles on the Georgia Municipal Association website and county websites.
Sewell said he couldn't predict how much money the city stands to make, but he noted how Harley Davidsons typically hold their worth.
When the city originally purchased the motorcycles for $13,798, Sewell said they added value to the police department because of a larger staff.
“When the motorcycles were purchased," he said, "the police department had more manpower. … Now we don’t have enough people to adequately (staff) every shift."
The hindrances of the motorcycles include their inability to transport prisoners and officers not being able to ride them during bad weather, the chief said.
With the department's automobile fleet in "pretty poor shape," Sewell said he hopes to put the money made toward a new vehicle.
He explained that it will be Purchasing Director Butch Walker, not him, selling the vehicles.
Sewell said the city should attach a minimum bid to the motorcycles.
If no law enforcement agencies offer that minimum, the chief said they could be stripped of their police gear, and the city could go with its original plan of selling them on GovDeals.com.
Also on Wednesday:
- Council members were presented with future use floodplain maps. The Dewberry firm’s Sam Crampton said that if residents affected by the new maps get flood insurance early, they can be grandfathered in and purchase it for about $500 a year. But if they wait until it’s “mandated on them,” he added, they could be looking at $1,000 to $2,000 annually. Crampton said some residents could even be coming out of the floodplain. Either way, those affected will be alerted by mail, he said. There aren’t many changes, so Crampton said he expects the maps to be “well accepted.”
- Public Works Director Greg Ramsey said the city could save as much as $119,000 if it drops Paulding County inmates for janitorial and landscaping services.
- The council discussed how it will need to pay Norfolk Southern $100 a year, including a payment for last year, to use 3,375 square feet near the Seven Springs Museum. Mayor Pat Vaughn called the price “pretty reasonable.”
- The council again weighed the issue of allowing citizens to vote on package alcohol sales on Sundays.
- The council discussed voting on the first reading of an ordinance Monday that would amend the city’s budget and give raises to its employees, who haven’t had an increase in pay in more than four years. City Manager Rick Eckert wasn’t sure of the figures yet, but said he would have them ready by Monday’s meeting.
- The council went into executive session to discuss a personnel issue.