As part of the 2020 approved budget, the Cambridge City Council approved the purchase of two new squad cars during the Jan. 6 City Council meeting.

Chief of Police Todd Schuster explained the department would like to replace two squad cars as part of the capital outlay equipment replacement plan and purchase two new 2020 Dodge Durango all-wheel-drive pursuit vehicles. The new vehicles will be used by Sgt. Shawn Machin and School Resource Officer Jenni Caulk.

A quote from the state of Minnesota contract authorized vendor, Dodge of Burnsville, came in at $29,698 for the Durangos, with some optional equipment added. Schuster added the price includes a V-8 Hemi engine. He said due to a drop in base price and a drop in the engine option price over the 2019 model, the price is only $1,023 more than the V-6 models purchased in 2019.

Schuster added he does not have the current pricing for the Dodge Charger. He said the model year 2021 will be available this year, but Dodge of Burnsville has not received pricing information yet, nor have they heard when they will open the ordering process for the Charger. He said he will reapproach the council at the time the information is available for the replacement of the third planned squad car for 2020. The third replacement vehicle will be used by him.

Schuster said the new squad cars will all be fully marked squad cars with all necessary emergency warning and communications equipment. Vehicle upfitting will be performed by Guardian Fleet Safety.

Following discussion the council approved authorization for Schuster to facilitate the order of two new 2020 Dodge Durango Pursuit AWD vehicles from Dodge of Burnsville, under the state of Minnesota contract for a price not to exceed $60,000, and spend capital outlay funds to properly equip them.

In other action the council:

• Declared the property at 1615 Southaven Dr. S. a public nuisance, and directed staff to seek requests for proposals for the demolition of the property and for erecting a temporary fencing around the site due to safety concerns. The property had a foreclosure sale on Sept. 9, 2019, and a fire occurred at the property on Nov. 11, 2019. Staff placed a ‘Do Not Occupy’ placard on the home the day after the fire due to it being uninhabitable. Staff said all the utilities have been shut off and most of the property’s interior has been stripped.

• Accepted a $22,750 grant through Bernick’s Family Foundation to help with Parkwood Park improvements. More information will come in the next couple of months as city staff works with vendors, parks staff and the Park, Trails and Recreation Commission on recommendations of exact equipment to be installed. An official check presentation will be held at the council’s Feb. 18 council meeting.

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