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Earle still looking to fix broke-down cop car

Earle still looking to fix broke-down cop car


Earle still looking to fix broke-down cop car

City shopping for estimates to replace motor

Even though they now have three new used police cars, Earle still needs to fix a 2014 Dodge Charger because it was purchased with federal grant money.

Nemi Matthews of the Earle Street Department told the city council that he is still shopping around for estimates to put in a new motor in the vehicle.

The vehicle blew an engine rod because the oil was low and the vehicle hadn’t been properly maintained.

The city council has been wrestling with what to do with vehicle because they didn’t have the money at the time to fix it.

The vehicle was purchased using federal Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) money and the city is required to maintain the vehicle.

The car only had 34,800 miles on it at the time it broke down.

Earle recently bought three used patrol cars from the state Highway Police for $3,600 apiece and paid to have its other cars tuned up.

“Regardless of us buying three cars, we still have to fix this car,” City Clerk Cynthia Conner said.

Initial estimates ranged from $9,000 from a Dodge dealership in Wynne to $7,000 from a dealership in Jonesboro.

The city opted to have the car fixed locally and paid $1,100 to Beggs Auto Supply to put in a used motor.

The replacement engine was a 2004 motor and proved to be incompatible with the vehicle and the city once again had to park it.

Matthews said the car will only run with a 2012 or new motor.

“The motor in that car was a 2012 and is not compatible,” Matthews said. “You can put a computer on, but it still has to be the same.

So you would need to get a motor for that model if you decide to fix it.”

Matthews said he went to three different places and is waiting for a FAX from the dealership in Wynne with a new estimate.

Conner said Councilman Kenneth Cross also had previously gotten an estimate from LKQ which was cheaper than both dealerships, and also checked with the garage which services the county’s vehicles.

“It was for maybe $4,000 or $5,000,” Conner said. “It was cheaper than going to Dodge.”

Councilwoman Jimmie Barham said the council needs to make a decision on the car soon.

“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Barham said. “It has been without a motor for over a year.”

Councilman Bobby Luckett agreed.

“We just need to fix this car,” Luckett said. “We need to get a price for a motor. That’s the way I see it.”

By Mark Randall

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