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‘Buy local,’ say commissioners as Chevy dealer reaps benefits

By Judith Pannebaker

“Buy local” was the mantra at the Monday, Nov. 19, meeting of Bandera County Commissioners Court.

Announcing lowest bids for three pickup trucks, Sheriff Weldon Tucker said the 2007 Chevrolet Silverados cost $21,458 each with $4,000 worth of dealer rebates. He said the new pickups came with extended warranties and front grill guards, but without power locks and power windows.

Commissioners deemed the lack of power accouterments “not a problem.”

“The dealership has also offered us lifetime oil changes every 5,000 miles,” Tucker said, adding, “We plan to use the trucks for 200,000 miles. That’s 40 oil changes during the lifetime of each vehicle. At $35 an oil change, that’s quite a savings.”

Tucker said in the long run having vehicle maintenance done within the county would also save money. “Every time we send a vehicle out of the county for maintenance, we have to send two officers and lose time,” he said, adding, “There’s a great advantage to staying local in terms of manpower and vehicle time saved.”

He told the court his department had previously purchased a pair of Crown Victorias with the $101,000 budgeted for new vehicles for the sheriff’s department. “That leaves us $3,000 to outfit the trucks,” Tucker said.

According to County Auditor Christina Moeller, just one other dealership had participated in the bidding process. She said the other bid had been faxed to the sheriff’s office and was not “sealed” as required, so was rejected.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Doug King offered, “It’s best to keep the money in the county.”

Tucker added, “The bid was very competitive.”

Commissioners unanimously approved purchasing three pickup trucks for use by the sheriff’s office from Bandera Chevrolet.