City purchases car for planning department

Published 12:17 am Thursday, May 30, 2013

NATCHEZThe City of Natchez bought a new car last week that will be used by planning and community development department staff.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen retroactively approved Tuesday the financing of a 2013 Ford Focus for approximately $15,000.

Before approving the purchase of the car, Ward 2 Alderman Ricky Gray suggested the city wait until it has updated its budget, which City Clerk Donnie Holloway said has to be done by July, and then purchase the car if the funds were available.

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The aldermen were surprised to hear that Mayor Butch Brown had already approved the purchase of the car, and the car was received last week.

Brown said that emergencies arise during day-to-day operations that require him to make executive decisions, such as the purchase of a new car. The car will be mainly used by City Planner Frankie Legaux, Community Development Director James Johnston and Special Projects Assistant Analisa Therrien for daily city business and travel.

One of the planning department’s cars broke down, Brown said Wednesday, and it was going to cost more to repair the vehicle than it was worth.

Normally it would take 12-15 weeks, Brown said, for a car purchased on state contract to be delivered. But Brown said the city was able to find online a car that had been ordered under state contract but not delivered.

“That was the Ford Focus,” he said. “We were able to find one for immediate purchase through the state purchase plan, and three days later we had it.”

Gray asked Brown at the meeting to inform the board before he approves purchases.

“Next time, let us know on the front end,” he said.

Holloway said at the meeting that the purchase of the new car would be within the planning and community development department’s budget.