The Neosho Police Department will soon have three new patrol vehicles and four new mobile units.

The Neosho Police Department will soon have three new patrol vehicles and four new mobile units.

On Tuesday evening, Neosho City Council members approved the police department's acceptance of a Homeland Security grant, which will provide four complete systems for the department's mobile computer network, with no match required by the city.

The grant, administered by the Missouri Police Chief's Association, will provide four mobile terminals, leaving only two units in the department not updated. The grant requires no match from the city and includes laptops, docking stations, power adapters, consoles, computer mounts, antennas and installation in the patrol vehicles.

The department received the grant two years ago, which allowed seven aged mobile units to be updated at that time.
Council members also voted, on final reading, to surplus three police department vehicles, two 2007 Crown Victorias and a 2006 Ford Expedition.

David McCracken, Neosho police chief, said one of the vehicles was totally damaged, while the other two were already set to be replaced.

McCracken said the city plans to trade in the surplus vehicles and purchase two 2013 Ford Interceptor Sedans and one 2013 Ford Interceptor Utility, which he said is similar to a Ford Explorer.

The council approved the purchase of a 2013 Ford Interceptor Utility for $20,496 and two 2013 Ford Interceptor Sedans for $22,273 and $17,273, from Joe Machens Ford, of Columbia, for a total net cost of $60,042.

McCracken said $60,000 was budgeted for the replacement of vehicles, making the purchase only $42 over, however, the department is also expecting insurance funds from the damaged vehicle, which will more than cover the difference, he said.

"The funds from the insurance settlement, except the $42, will be used to equip these vehicles, due to the nature of the new cars that most of our equipment will not work in," McCracken said. "We'll have to make either modification kits or buy new inside equipment for that."

McCracken told council members that the new mobile units are expected to arrive around the same time as the new vehicles.

He said it will be at least three months before the department receives the new vehicles.

Council members also heard from the city's new director of finance, Peter Ramsour, who provided a positive report on the city's sales tax numbers.

Ramsour said the city saw a 2.9 percent increase in sales tax revenue for this month compared to a year ago.

"The five year running average, for the same time, same month, was $128,940," Ramsour said, noting that the current figure is $160,775. "That's a 24.69 percent increase, so I think you should feel comfortable in that."

In other business, council members:

• Voted to approve an annual contract with Davis, Lynn and Moots, who were selected in the council's Nov. 6 meeting to perform the city's annual audit for fiscal years ending Sept. 30, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The contract will be renewed and approved on an annual basis.

Clarified that the City of Neosho is not involved in waterline insurance being offered by American Water Resources of Missouri. Neosho residents will soon receive mailings from American Water Resources offering waterline insurance, though city attorney Steve Hays said that service is completely independent of the City of Neosho.

• Issued a proclamation, recognizing Terra Sanders, development services administrative assistant, as the City of Neosho's employee of the quarter.

• Briefly discussed changing the Parks, Recreation and Golf Course board to a seven-member committee as opposed to the current nine members. Davidson said the board is having trouble filling vacant seats. At their last meeting, the board discussed changes to golf course fees, which were supposed to be presented to the council Tuesday evening. However, because the board did not have a quorum at that meeting, their vote on those changes is void and must be taken again at a future meeting where a quorum is present.

The council is expected to address the number of members on the committee at the next city council meeting.

• Announced vacancies that exist on the airport industrial development board; board of adjustments-zoning; board of appeals; economic development sales tax committee; historic district commission; parks recreation and golf course board; and the planning and zoning commission. If interested in serving on any of these advisory boards, contact city clerk Nora Houdyshell at 451-8050.