Augusta residents will pick up part of the tab for a police chase that led to a man's arrest and an injured officer on June 5.
The city could seek restitution from suspect Jeremy Hutchens if he is convicted for the crimes that led to the police chase, however, whether a judge would order the restitution and Hutchens' ability to repay the city even if the order was made are in question.
The 2010 Crown Victoria that officer Quinten Shoopman was driving during the high-speed chase that resulted in the accident was deemed to be a total loss by EMC – the city's insurance company. The company will pay the city $26,819.99 for the damaged vehicle.
At Monday's City Council meeting, the governing body voted 3-2 with Matt Childers, Jason Lowery and Mike Wallace absent to purchase a Chevy Tahoe to replace the vehicle in the city's police fleet.
The new Tahoe – which will be similar to the two purchased earlier this year – will cost the city $27,200 to purchase and about $10,000 to equip. The Augusta Safety Department has some of the equipment and officers who can do some of the work to equip the vehicle which will save the department some money.
The council voted 3-2 with Sue Jones and Mike Rawlings voting no to purchase the two-wheel drive version of the vehicle. The four-wheel drive version would have cost an additional $2,900.
Jones said she recalled some trouble with the two-wheel drive Tahoes during snowy conditions earlier this year and wondered if the four-wheel drive version would be better for these conditions.
Ron Reavis, who made the motion to approve the two-wheel drive, said that 51-weeks a year the vehicle was very well suited for the conditions and the department had other option during snow.
Matt Malone also said that the cost of fuel for the four-wheel drive would be higher and that cost should also be considered.
Jamie Crum was the deciding vote in favor of the two-wheel drive vehicle.