Budget Committee approves new vehicle purchase for county coroner

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Commissioners on Carter County’s Budget Committee said it was time for the county coroner to have a new vehicle for the services he provides.

Patty Woodby continued conversations from last month’s meeting on the topic, saying the need was great enough to warrant a purchase from the county.

“He has run through major issues,” Woodby said.

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These issues include a variety of structural damages over the years from use.

“You can see the road from the passenger side floorboard,” she said.

The county coroner is in charge of investigating deaths in the county, and the amount of driving he does as part of his job add up. The committee said he can sometimes take several calls a week at any time of day or night.

Further, Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said the car came to the coroner after its use by deputies.

“It was worn-out when we gave it to him,” Lunceford said.

The committee looked over proposed models of vehicles, but the $32,000 cost is partially due to the equipment and modifications needed for such a vehicle. These modifications include all the police equipment necessary, including police radios, as well as removing the carpet out of the vehicle, which the Sheriff’s Office has to pay a company to do so.

Despite the price tag and additional work, Travis Hill said the cost was necessary and inevitable.

“This is a position that is not going away,” Travis Hill said.

The committee unanimously approved setting aside up to $32,000 for a vehicle purchase.

Because the proposal goes above $25,000, it has to go into a bidding process before the purchase can be completed.

The Highway Department asked for approval for over $200,000 in transfers between accounts, to help finance more crushed stone and more equipment and mechanical parts.

The board unanimously approved the Highway Department’s request.

The Nominating Committee voted in two new members of the Agricultural Committee, which meets quarterly: commissioner Robert Acuff and new commissioner Mark Tester. The board unanimously approved the appointments.

These budget requests will go before the full commission next Monday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m.