CREEDE — During the first of the month meeting of the Mineral County Commissioners on Monday, July 3, Mineral County Sheriff Fred Hosselkus announced that the department was given a Humvee through the 1033 program through the National Defense Authorization Act.
The vehicle will be used on four-wheel drive trails when other vehicles need to be rescued. Hosselkus explained that one problem with the donation is that the vehicle needs some work including tires and that he is concerned too much money would be put into its upkeep.
Commissioner Ramona Weber agreed with Hosselkus stating that she too, had heard the vehicles require a lot of maintenance and asked if Hosselkus had an idea of how much he was willing to set aside for any maintenance needs.
“I don’t plan on setting aside much, and we won’t use the vehicle very often. I plan on about $3,000 to $5,000 at most,” said Hosselkus. He said he plans on keeping expenses at a bare minimum.
Hosselkus continued by asking that the board consider purchasing a new vehicle for Emergency Manager Terry Wetherill. Hosselkus said the Mineral County Search and Rescue (SAR) department has recently been given a 40-foot trailer to haul snowmobiles and needs a larger truck to be able to haul it anywhere.
Commissioners listened as Hosselkus explained that SAR has been collecting heavier and heavier equipment and that it is difficult to haul the larger trailers, emergency mobile command center and other pieces of equipment needed during missions or training sessions.
“It’s great that we have been given al of these things, but we are having to use personal vehicles because our other vehicles are not large enough to haul this stuff,” explained Hosselkus.
The sheriff distributed a vehicle quote for a newer, larger truck that could be used to replace an older vehicle being used by Wetherill. The quote showed that the new truck could be purchased for just over $38,000 after working with the dealership. “We can also trade in two of our other vehicles including the 2010 truck that Terry is driving and get an additional $28,500 credit for trade-ins,” said Hosselkus. The remainder of the funds would come from the sheriff’s department budget, SAR funds and funding from the emergency manager budget.
Commissioners agreed that the need for a larger truck is a concern, considering that if personal vehicles are being used insurance could be an issue if an accident were to occur. They asked Hosselkus when he needs an answer in order to get the vehicle. County Administrator Janelle Kukuk stated that she had planned on having budget expense reports ready for review by the mid-month meeting and stated that the board could wait to make a decision until then.
Hosselkus agreed that the decision could wait until the mid-month meeting and said that it would be easier to see how the numbers would work out if the expense reports were available. The topic was tabled until the mid-month meeting.