The purchase of a pair of new vehicles coupled with additional funds for existing vehicle maintenance and fuel costs are helping keep the Putnam County Sheriff's Department on the road.
On Monday, the Putnam County Commissioners approved the purchase of two 2012 Chevrolet Tahoes.
The vehicles will be leased through First National Bank for a combined total of $75,000. With a fixed interest rate of 2.57 percent, the three-year lease will be paid for in three annual payments of $26,314.02.
The purchase comes from money already budgeted to the sheriff's department, so no additional appropriations are required.
Two SUVs taken out of the sheriff's fleet were recently donated to local agencies. The two 2006 Ford Explorers were given to the Madison Township Fire Department and the Russellville Police Department.
The upkeep and fuel of sheriff's department vehicles was a topic of discussion at Tuesday's Putnam County Council meeting.
In June, Sheriff Steve Fenwick discussed the need for additional maintenance and fuel money for the department. At that time, Fenwick told the council that when the deputy force was increased by three officers four years ago, the budgets for vehicle maintenance and fuel were not increased accordingly.
There have also not been adjustments made for increased fuel costs in recent years.
The council approved two $35,000 appropriations -- one to fuel and one to maintenance -- for the sheriff's department.