At its virtual meeting on Tuesday night, the Auburn City Council unanimously approved a major investment for the Auburn Police Division, giving the city manager the green light to purchase 14 new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoes.
The 14 marked Tahoes, and one unmarked 2021 Dodge Durango utility vehicle, will run about $34,000 apiece for a total cost of about $473, 000. According to meeting materials, 12 of the vehicles will replace older models, while three will help meet expansion needs.
Auburn City Councilman and former APD police chief Tommy Dawson offered praise for the Council's continued support of the Auburn Police Division.
"Tahoe is one of the best police vehicles ever made, and I think it's just a credit to our City Council and our citizens that we try to outfit our police with the best we possibly can," he said. "I just really appreciate the Council's support on this and I think it's a great day, once again, to show how we support our police department."
In other items on the agenda, the City Council approved the appointment of two seats on the Board of Zoning Adjustment.
The Council unanimously approved the appointment of Emmy Sorrells, a local Realtor, to a three-year term on the BZA, replacing outgoing board member Paul West.
The reappointment of BZA member Drew Goodner drew opposition from some council members, who didn't provide any reasons for not supporting another term for him. The Council ultimately approved his reappointment on a 5-4 vote, with Council members Steven Dixon, Kelley Griswold, Bob Parsons and Connie Fitch Taylor voting against.
Also at Tuesday night's meeting, the City Council approved a resolution as part of the consent agenda that provides Briggs & Stratton a tax abatement totaling about $721,000 over 10 years for non-educational ad valorem taxes and sales and use taxes, a one-time only abatement estimated at about $288,000 of the total approved abatements. The abatement was for the acquisition of new equipment for a planned expansion at the company's existing location in Auburn Technology Park South.
Briggs & Stratton plans to hire 35 new employees, with a capital investment of about $9.4 million. The estimated annual payroll for the new hires comes to about $1.1 million, according to meeting materials.