The Livingston County Veterans Services Committee is considering moving away from the county standard for purchasing vehicles.

The Livingston County Department of Veterans Services has two vehicles that they use to help transport veterans-in-need to various commitments. With one vehicle, the MV-1, getting on in age and in frequent need of costly repairs, the Veterans Committee is in the process of replacing it. This topic came up at March’s meeting, but caused confusion with the way the county has departments fund vehicle purchases. Confusion came from verbiage used regarding that the Veterans Committee had purchased their two vehicles outright, but are also making monthly payments on them. To help clear things up, they invited LETS and Livingston County Car Pool Director Greg Kellogg to their April meeting, held Wednesday night. Kellogg explained that the monthly payments were less of a “lease” payment, and more of a capital replacement plan. The plan was set for the Veterans Committee, over 84 months, to make monthly payments on the cost of the vehicle purchased plus 5% in preparation of a replacement down the road.

Committee Chairman Joe Riker said that their fleet is considerably smaller than others in the county, however, and this may not be the best road for them to continue down. This process was implemented largely because of the size of the Sheriff’s Office’s fleet. With a fleet of only two vehicles, others on the Veterans Committee also expressed a desire to pursue getting off of this plan and buying outright while not making additional payments. A possible risk would be not having money saved for a new vehicle, but a line item on the budget was considered for ensuring this doesn’t happen.

One option the Committee is considering is to withdraw the money made on payments to the county, pooling it with the money made from auctioning the MV-1, to buy a new van. Kellogg estimated they would have around $45,000 to spend this way, with the new vehicle costing only about $35,000.

The Committee took action to auction the MV-1, and will consider how they want to purchase the new van at a future meeting. (MK)