By JEFFRY GREENBERG
Way back on March 25, the Ballwin Board of Aldermen approved the purchase of two Ford Explorers for its police fleet. The order was placed the following month, but without giving a reason, Lou Fusz Automotive said there has been a delay in shipping the vehicles from the factory.
On Oct. 28, Interim Police Chief John Bergfeld approached the board with an amended proposal.
“At the last meeting, the budget preparation meeting [on Oct. 14], I spoke about the switch from the Ford SUVs to the [Dodge] Durangos,” Bergfeld said. “I’m here to make a formal request to buy two Durangos this year. We had placed an order for the Ford SUVs, and those vehicles are not coming, so I’d like to switch the order to the Durango. We have two that are available to pick up this week. It’s even an additional cost savings over what the Fords would cost. So, that’s what I’d like to propose. The SUVs that I’d like to pick up this week are comparably equipped.”
Alderman Mike Utt [Ward 1] asked about how long it would take to get the lights installed. Bergfeld answered that he brought one over and spoke to two mechanics last week who looked at it and thought it would be a pretty easy install.
“Once we get the formal approval for buying the vehicles, we’ll place the order to get the lights,” Bergfeld said.
Alderman Kevin Roach [Ward 2] asked if that meant Bergfeld wanted four vehicles in all because two were already previously approved by the board back in March. But Bergfeld said it was just for the two and that he wanted to go through the formal process to ask for the change.
“It’s the same dealership, and they agreed to this without penalty,” City Administrator Bob Kuntz said. “They weren’t going to make the delivery and it’s almost November. This enables us to take action on what was previously authorized and it actually saves us a few dollars in the process.”
It’s a savings of $4,162 to be exact – from $69,794 down to $65,632.