Kanawha County Commission to purchase and replace two county vehicles

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Over the next few weeks the Kanawha County Commission will rotate two older county vehicles out to be replaced with two new vehicles, after a lengthy discussion at their meeting last week.

Before the additions could be approved at the meeting, Commissoner Dave Hardy challenged why it was necessary for each of 11 county employees to drive a county car before the move could be approved.

“What’s very important is that if we do have county employees driving vehicles that they’re drven for county purpose and no other purpose,” Hardy explained. “The discussion we had tonight is which county employees need to have a vehicle they can take home at night, and is there strict guidance on the use of that vehicle.”

Chevy Tahoe’s have been used as the county cars recently, which cost about $36,000. He eventually was satisfied with the explanation he got, and the commission came to a compromise.

“We made a decision to purchase two additional county vehicles. But we’re also going to surplus out and get rid of two. We’re not growing the fleet; we’re just maintaining the fleet,” Hardy said.

Hardy pointed out that he wasn’t trying to deny anyone a county car, especially not emergency workers that are on call at all hours, he just wanted closer tabs on the use of the cars and of taxpayer money.

“It never hurts to act because the public is entitled to know in an open forum what we’re spending their money for, and why we have to have certain county employees driving vehicles,” he said. “I heard good explanations tonight, but it’s very healthy to discuss that in an open meeting.”

The rotation of the vehicles should take place in the next three weeks, Hardy said. They are purchased from the state contract to receive a discount.