South Amboy approves purchase of four new police vehicles


SOUTH AMBOY — The city will be adding four new vehicles to its police department roster soon.

The council approved the purchase of the vehicles, two 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles and two Chevy Tahoes, totaling $194,670.18, after discussing it at the July 6 City Council business meeting. The resolutions were formally approved at the City Council meeting a week later.

Business Administrator Camille Tooker said the vehicles will likely arrive in September. The Fords are from Cherry Hill Winner Ford; the Chevys are being purchased from Day Chevrolet in Monroeville, Pa.

“They’re all going to be used for patrol,” Tooker explained to the council at the July 6 meeting, adding that there are various requirements for different vehicles, and the purchases the city is making reflect what the police department requested.

Tooker said the city did not purchase vehicles last year, but typically does annually.

The vehicles that are being replaced, she said, will have to be evaluated but may need to be auctioned off.

Tooker said the purchases were being paid for through the city’s capital budget.

New surplus selling process

Also at the July 6 meeting, the council and Tooker discussed using a service called GovDeals to sell surplus city property. Currently, South Amboy holds an in-person auction at the public works building when there is enough property to conduct a sale.

“The problem is, we don’t get a wide audience,” she said. “It’s the same people all the time.”

With GovDeals, the city would auction individual items through a website.  She said many other municipalities have moved to using the service, in which items can be purchased via bidding by anyone in the world. The Montgomery, Alabama-based service launched in 2001, and as of March more than 8,500 government entities in the United States and Canada were using the site.

Tooker said there is a percentage-based fee on each sale. That fee — typically 12.5 percent — would be split between the buyer and the city based on a split the city decides ahead of the sale. However, she said her understanding is that the fee would be offset by the items fetching a higher price. She said municipalities that have been using GovDeals have been seeing their items sell for 10 to 15 percent more than if they were sold at a live auction.

“So either way you’re going to be ahead of the game, even with the fee,” she said.

Tooker added that a representative would be willing to meet with the council to discuss the service.

No formal action regarding the GovDeals service was taken at either the July 6 or 13 meeting.