MOULTRIE — Colquitt County Commission approved contracts Thursday to finance sheriff’s office patrol cars and changes to a renovation project at the Courthouse Annex building.

Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the purchase of five patrol cars through a leased financing plan.

Under the lease/purchase plan the county will finance $140,000 over three years at 4.07 percent interest. Over the leasing period the county will pay $9,566 in interest with an annual payment of $49,855.

While the program through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia is called a lease, the county will own the five cars outright at the end of the three years, County Administrator Bryan Shuler said.

The commission approved the purchase of three cars for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The sheriff’s office originally requested five Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars at an estimated cost of $117,750. That number was pared to three patrol cars with $70,650.

Shuler said he looked at the financing deal in order to acquire more cars while staying within budget.

The courtroom project changes brought back to the commission in September originally were expected to add $4,487 to the $737,000 project.

However, after additional inspection by the architect and the county’s Technical and Maintenance Department it was determined those changes and the elimination of some work could cut the total cost by $550.

The changes approved by commissioners are:

• Adding 21 panels to allow access to electrical junction boxes, relocating electrical wiring in holding cells and adding a high-impact ceiling to holding cells. The estimated cost of that work is $4,952.

• Adding aluminum blinds to the information systems office windows at an estimated cost of $170.

• Eliminating interior signage, which will shave about $635 off the cost of the project.

Shuler said that the architect identified $7,000 in cost reductions in unnecessary locks.

The county will fund the courtroom addition through a 1999 special purpose local option sales tax that was earmarked for courthouse renovations and construction of the annex building.

At the time the contract was bid there was about $1.1 million in the fund, Shuler said.

In other business commissioner:

• Approved the low bid of $68,759 from The Scruggs Company for paving the Colquitt County Justice Center parking lot. Other bids received were $85,954 from Reeves Construction Company and $96,483 from Oxford Construction Company.

The work will be funded from the 2002 and 2007 special purpose option sales taxes, both of which earmarked some money to the justice center, Shuler said.

• Voted to repair an air conditioning and heating system at the Colquitt County Department of Family and Childrens Services building at a cost of $7,500.

The agency pays rent on the county-owned building, a portion of which the county banks to fund needed repairs, Shuler said. There is about $74,000 in that fund.

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