Sherman purchases 4 vehicles for inspectors

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Sherman City Council has agreed to purchase four new vehicles for the city’s building inspectors. [Michael Hutchins / Herald Democrat]

The city of Sherman will soon have four new vehicles for its building inspection crew.

The city council recently agreed to spend nearly $88,000 on new vehicles for the department as a part of efforts to bring the crews inline with other city departments. Until now, the city’s building inspectors conducted business using personal vehicles rather than city-owned trucks.

“To me what it came down to was are we equitably treating this department like we are treating all other departments in the city,” City Manager Robby Hefton said last week. “This is really about bringing them up to par with other departments that operate in this manner.”

In a unanimous vote, the council agreed to purchase four Ford F-150 trucks from Sam Pack’s Five-Star Ford in Carrollton for just under $88,000.

The idea of using city-owned vehicles for building inspections came out of this year’s budget workshop where city officials noted that inspectors used their own vehicles for official city business. This put them at odds with other city departments that used city vehicles.

Instead, inspectors were given a car allowance of about $400 to $500 a month.

The city received four bids from north Texas dealers, including two in Sherman. However, Five-Star Ford came well below other offers.

Members of the council asked if the city considered a contingency that would allow for preference for local dealers in these bids. Hefton noted that the contingency percentage has gone down in recent years.

“We received quotes from four dealers, including two local dealers, and the lowest bid was from Five-Star Ford in Carrollton,” Hefton said.

“Even under the old standard, they would have had to have been at or around $1,000 more but they were significantly more than that,” he said, noting some were closer to $3,000 higher.

Hefton said the vehicle purchase will likely be budget neutral for the city as it will allow Sherman to end its vehicle allowance program.