The Ashley County Quorum Court voted Tuesday to approve the purchase of two new vehicles for the Ashley County Sheriff’s Department.

Budget Committee Chair Jeff Langley said the committee had recommended that Sheriff Tommy Sturgeon bring the request for a new vehicle — after the engine on truck in the sheriff’s department inventory was unable to be repaired — to the full Quourm for approval to purchase a vehicle from state bid.

No state bid vehicles were available, though the sheriff’s department was able to find two vehicles available at Holt Automotive for $29,795 each.

The local vehicles were approximately $3,000 more than the state bid price.

If the sheriff’s department has to go with the state bid vehicles, it will be four to six months before the vehicles can be delivered, Sturgeon said.

The Holt vehicles can be delivered within 10 days, he said.

“We just can’t wait four to six months,” Sturgeon said.

The dealership will also give the department $3,700 for five vehicles that are not currently running, two of which were already out of commission with Sturgeon took office, he said.

While the committee considered spending $6,000 on a new motor for the vehicle that was initially brought to their attention, the truck already had 200,000 miles on the chassis, Langley said.

“Instead of spending that money on a vehicle that something else could go wrong tomorrow, it would be better for everybody to agree he needed the new vehicle,” he said.

Before the Quorum ultimately voted to approve the purchases, Sturgeon reminded them his department came in $200,000 under budget last year.

In other news:

-The Quorum voted to allocated $5,542.50 to allow for as needed temporary help for the janitorial staff if one of the regular courthouse janitors is unable to work.

-The Quorum voted to name the chairman of the personnel policy committee — which is currently Justice Ricky Sims — as the chairman of the county grievance committee. The justices also voted that the personnel policy chair should be the one to gavel in and run a meeting in the absence of the county judge.

-Attorney David Harrod told the justices that he had entered into a contract with the county judge’s office.

In the January meeting, the justices had disagreed about whether the Quorum or the county judge’s office officially hires the Court’s attorney.

Harrod said that after research, he found that it is the judge’s office that officially does the hiring, and he and County Judge Jim Hudson had executed the contract.

-The justices adopted the ordinance cleaning up the county budget for the past fiscal year.

-The justices adopted a resolution acknowledging the county’s lease agreement with Bancorp South for road department trucks

-The justices adopted a resolution authorizing the county judge to apply for unpaved road grant funds.

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