FAIRBORN — Fairborn City Council authorized the Fairborn Police Department at the Tuesday, Jan. 19 regular council meeting to purchase four new agency vehicles. The type of automobile, however, will vary from what citizens are accustomed to seeing cruising the streets.
The Ford Interceptors (utility version) will allow for more room within the cab and rear of the vehicle, giving more space to officers, their equipment and passengers. The type of vehicle is also hoped to reduce the amount of engine issues the department must deal with.
“It’s a vehicle that’s being used by many departments in the area,” Fairborn Police Chief Terry Barlow said during the meeting. “Our equipment up fitter that we purchase our equipment from has also told us [they] are not getting a lot of order for equipment for the Chargers anymore. I’m assuming everyone else is having the same issues we are.”
The department began purchasing V8-engine Dodge Chargers in 2009-2010 and didn’t purchase any new vehicles for two years, but later experienced camshaft issues. The department purchased V6-engine Dodge Chargers in 2013, 2014 and 2015, which gave up some horsepower, but was hoped to perform better and provide a more reliable engine. However, city garage superintendents are reporting to the chief that the 2013 Chargers are having camshaft issues as well.
Barlow said the space within the passenger compartments of the Chargers has been limiting to officers and training missions as they must travel with a variety of equipment. Officers have pointed out that this can slow them down as they exit the vehicle.
“I’ve talked to some of the police and they feel strongly about the bigger vehicles and all the equipment they have to haul around,” Councilwoman Marilyn McCauley said. “Having ridden in one of the Chargers, I don’t know how some of those policeman get in and out of those cars. It’s extremely tight.”
The chief said the purchases would not call for an increase in the budget, instead just a re-appropriation of funds. Money was originally allocated to refurbish a 1996 SWAT medical vehicle. However, the fire department elected to reserve three medical units, which freed up those funds to instead go toward the four new vehicle purchases.
Barlow said waiting to refurbish the SWAT vehicle will not be critical to the department’s mission, as it is simply showing its age at this point and will be budgeted next year. Fairborn Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick asked the chief how the Interceptor gas mileage compares to the Chargers gas mileage, to which Barlow responded that police work typically allows for seven-to-eight miles per gallon regardless of the specific engine type.
The total cost is $137,000, including equipment, and will be purchased from Lebanon Ford. The Fairborn Police Department was allocated $125,000 for purchasing new vehicles and waiting to refurbish the SWAT vehicle will allow for an additional $12,000 to go toward the new vehicle purchases. The warranty includes three years and 36,000 miles.
“Beavercreek’s entire fleet is Ford Interceptors,” Barlow said. “Each department in the area all around us is buying them.”
Appointing new board, committee members
Councilman Rob Hoffman was appointed as the delegate for the Regional Planning and Coordinating Commission of Greene County, while City Planner Kathleen Riggs will serve as an alternate. Riggs was hired as the city planner as the new year rang in, formerly serving the City of Dayton.
Deputy Mayor Paul Keller and Councilwoman Donna Wilson were appointed to serve the Fairborn Development Corporation.
Fairborn Citizen Darrell Allen will serve one unexpired term until Dec. 31 the Community Reinvestment Area Housing Council, but will serve a three-year term to the Mayor’s Beautification Committee alongside Robert Gast and George Woodworth. Mark Weinstein and Angela Hall were also appointed to the Mayor’s Beautification Committee, both serving an unexpired term until Dec. 31.
Gast will additionally serve one three-year term to the Neighborhood Betterment Council until Dec. 31, 2018.
Brian Dodd and Debbie Downs will serve unexpired terms until Dec. 31, 2017 to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, along with Robert Lorenzetti, Laruel Mayer, Beverly McCoy, Pauline Micciche and Aaron Willis, who will serve three-year terms until Dec. 31, 2018.
James Barone will serve one three-year term until Dec. 31, 2018 to the Personnel Advisory Board.
Doug Hand and Gary Siembab will serve the city’s Planning Board for a three-year term until Dec. 31, 2018.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will welcome the appointed Mary Wenning, serving one unexpired term until Dec. 31, 2017, along with Mason Weed who is serving one five-year term until Dec. 31, 2020.
Fairborn Citizens JoAnn Collins and Shannon Howard expressed their opinions on the city’s upcoming logo change. Neither were satisfied, as they felt that it didn’t accurately express who the community is and that some of the logo options looked similar to already-existing companies. They suggested keeping or enhancing the current logo.
“I feel that if you took those logos and lined them up next to our current logo and asked citizens ‘what would you prefer’ they’re going to pick the current logo every time in comparison,” Howard said. “I’ve never seen a version (of the current logo) that I didn’t like, I’ve never seen one I thought didn’t represent who we are and at the same time, our history and where we want to go in the future.”
“It’s still an accurate representation of who we are as a community and I’m not against thinking about new logos or the future, but I think if you’re going to present new logos … that when I look at it, I need to think ‘that’s awesome — that’s who we are. I feel something when I see that,’” Howard added. “I felt something when I saw the proposed logos and it wasn’t good. Whereas when I see our current logos, I think ‘that’s who we are.’”
The next regular council meeting will take place 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 within the council chambers of the Fairborn Government Center.
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532, or on Twitter @wnvickers. For more content online, visit our website or like our Facebook page.