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County board OKs purchase of 20 vehicles

Dakota County agreed to make a big purchase Tuesday.

At its regular meeting this week the Dakota County Board of Commissioners authorized the purchase of 20 vehicles /equipment for the sheriff, transportation and parks fleets.

The approved 2010/2011 Fleet Capital Equipment Program budget includes $1.7 million to purchase vehicles and equipment.

The replacement list includes four police sedans, one sports utility vehicle, two sedans, two one-ton trucks, three 3/4-ton pickups and seven tractors. Thirteen of the units being replaced will be sold at auction. Six of the tractors are being traded in, with the proceeds returned to the Fleet CEP. The recommended addition to the transportation fleet is for a tractor and snow blower that will primarily be used for snow removal on Cedar Avenue bus transit lanes.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increases miles on the replacement vehicles, the staff met with vendors and fleet user groups to determine needs and options. Recommendations included the purchases two electric hybrid engine vehicles and the elimination of three tractors from the parks fleet.

Dakota County holds a cooperative purchasing agreement with the State of Minnesota that allows the county to purchase from vendors under state contract. Purchasing through the state allows Dakota County to take advantage of the time spent by the state to perform the competitive bidding process.