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Preston Commission buys new police vehicle; awards project bid

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Commission awarded a bid to clear stream blockages caused by Hurricane Ida and authorized the purchase of a new police cruiser using CARES money at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

Ordering the vehicles through the normal channels isn’t possible until August of 2022, Duane Hamilton, director of Preston County Office of Emergency Management/911 told the commission.  

Hamilton previously requested three new cruisers using CARES money to replace ones that are nearing 150,000 miles.

However, after some “extensive” searching, Hamilton said he was lucky enough to find a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe with the PPV — police pursuit vehicle — package at a dealership in Philadelphia and the dealer agreed to hold the cruiser until Hamilton was able to speak with the commission about buying it on Tuesday.

“We gotta either just give them an answer today or the vehicle’s gone,” Hamilton said, adding there’s probably about 99 people in line behind him to get it, given the national shortage.

The commission voted 3-0 in favor of using $42,540 in CARES funds to purchase the vehicle.

Three bids were received from contractors to clear stream blockages caused by Hurricane Ida. 

The commission opened the bids from Anderson Excavating, of Morgantown; Jennings Excavating, of Newburg; and Laurita Inc., of Morgantown. 

County Administrator Kathy Mace then verified whether the bids qualified — all three did — and said she saw no reason not to go with the lowest bid of $28,160 by Laurita. The commission voted unanimously to award the bid to Laurita. 

The project will start on Nov. 9 and be completed within two weeks. 

Only blockages that threaten structures are being cleared as part of the project, which is being done under an emergency declaration caused by Hurricane Ida, Mace said.

To go with the bid award, the commission also signed an agreement with the West Virginia Conservation Agency to act as project manager. 

The WVCA has worked with the county in preparing the job for bidding and identifying what qualified under the emergency declaration.

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