GJ council OKs vehicles for police, fire chiefs

Grand Junction’s police chief and fire chief soon will be driving around in new Ford sport utility vehicles. The Grand Junction City Council approved the purchase of the vehicles during its Wednesday night meeting. The vehicles will cost nearly $58,000 and an additional $857 each to equip them with lights, sirens and radios. The vehicle purchases will replace a $350 each vehicle allowance that Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper and Grand Junction Fire Department Chief Ken Watkins had been receiving. The vehicles will be for the chiefs’ personal use but they also will be added to the city’s fleet.

Jay Valentine, Internal Services Manager, said the purchase hadn’t happened earlier because of limited funds in the fleet budget.

City Councilor Tom Kenyon said he thought the city could have come up with a way to pay for vehicles before. “I think certainly it’s a cop-out to say we couldn’t afford these vehicles,” Kenyon said. “It’s not a very good for people to respond in their own private vehicle to an emergency.”

In other matters:

■ Councilors approved a resolution supporting rebranding Colorado National Monument as a national park. Councilors said they wanted to display a show of support for the change to lure tourism to the area. Councilor Sam Susuras was absent from Wednesday’s meeting, but relayed to city staff that he did not back the resolution.

■ Councilors drafted a resolution that would not allow anyone to obtain a license to operate private clubs where people could gather to smoke marijuana. Small amounts of marijuana possession are legal under Amendment 64, but the drug cannot be used in public.


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