The City of Jacksonville worked to play a little catch-up Monday night with discussion of replacing some aging equipment.
The City Council approved a resolution accepting a proposal for the purchase of four new SUV squad cars for the Jacksonville Police Department.
Police Chief Adam Mefford said his department is behind a full two years in rotating aging squad cars out of service. He said an order placed last year for two units was ultimately pushed off by the company after it became apparent they would not be built last year.
Mefford said he was offered the chance to cancel those and move ahead in line for this year and was also able to increase the amount of the order. Mayor Andy Ezard says it is another case of supply chain issues from the Covid pandemic.
“And I hate making that excuse but it’s supply and demand. We’ve made use of our police cars and we’ve been very patient however, we need to get that ball rolling again because you don’t know when the cars are going to come in. It was a capital improvement item that we needed to start the conversation on.”
The council also approved a proposal for purchasing controllers for the Links Golf Course’s irrigation system at a cost of $80,000, which is nearly $15,000 under the budgeted estimate.
A discussion was also had on a proposal to replace the golf carts which are nearly at the end of their usable service life. The cost of carts however has increased considerably, and combined with continued supply chain issues means the city needs to act quickly.
Ezard says both the controllers and carts are another example of equipment that has been utilized longer than intended because of a lack of new equipment available in the market.
“We have aging golf carts and sprinkler heads, a lot of those heads are original from 40 years ago so we want to improve the infrastructure out there. Golf cart-wise, right now we’ve got a pretty good price on the trade-in value of our current carts which are five years old. Usually, it’s a five-year window to replace them.
We had to act quickly here because there was another golf course somewhere that canceled an order, so we took action because it might be another two or three years before they would be available. Again it’s a supply and demand issue and we wanted to get those in place.”
Links and Nichols Park Golf Course Superintendent Kai Jacobs says the canceled order was for 60 new carts that were needed to replace the existing 59 he says are wearing out quickly.
He says the irrigation system controllers have needed to be updated for quite some time, with parts of the system being between 20 and 40 years old.