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Dade City police to ride on green side

DADE CITY — The Dade City Police Department is going green.

The City Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved Chief Ray Velboom's request to buy an electric vehicle.

The vehicles are cheaper than patrol cars, more accessible to the public and run on pennies a day, Velboom said. He's spoken to officials in Tarpon Springs and Clearwater, which use the green machines.

"We're getting high reviews," Velboom said.

The three-wheeled T3 Personal Electric Mobility Vehicle has room for one officer and can cruise at about 20 mph.

The second vehicle, a Global Electric Motorcar, plugs into a regular outlet and can travel about 30 miles between charges. The Motorcar travels at 25 mph and has room for two people.

"Our officers used it and gave high, high, high recommendations, even some officers who I didn't expect would like it," Velboom told the commission.

Each costs about $9,700, but Velboom said he hoped the department could negotiate for a lower price. An additional $1,500 would be needed to outfit the vehicles with lights and the proper markings.

Funding would come from the city's Public Safety Impact Fee fund. City Finance Director Jim Class said the fund contains $50,000.

Since the vehicles don't have doors, the department hopes they will open up the lines of communication between residents and law enforcement.

In other news, the city entered into two lease agreements.

• The Weitzenkorn Family Partnership, Ltd. agreed to let the city use 1.5 acres at Eighth Street and Church Avenue for overflow parking. The city will pay $1 per year and maintain liability insurance on the property. It will also keep the grounds mowed.

• The city also entered into a $1 lease with ANPM Enterprises LLC, owned by Commissioner Camille Hernandez' husband, David, to use his downtown building as an art gallery for the city's youth council. The lease runs until Dec. 31.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Dade City police to ride on green side 11/18/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 20, 2008 7:18pm]
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