By David Howell
COFFEEVILLE – Supervisors voted to purchase a new pickup for the Yalobusha Emergency Management Agency (EMA) after a 2005 Dodge pickup used by the department has been diagnosed with engine trouble.
The vote came during the first meeting of the year, Jan. 4, in Coffeeville. Last month EMA director Frank Hyde told supervisors that Dodge would not honor a warranty to replace the Cummings diesel engine that only had 50,000 miles on it. Hyde said the repair cost was estimated at $13,000.
The culprit for the engine problem was cited by Dodge as bad fuel, according to Hyde. Fuel samples were sent to the Mississippi Department of Commerce, who determined there was no contamination in the fuel.
Hyde has recommended hiring an attorney to pursue the claim, a move that could take months.
The 2005 truck was purchasing with Homeland Security funds and Hyde also reported there was a possibility that more federal funds could be used to purchase a new vehicle for the county’s EMA department.
“(Homeland Security) gave me a real good promise, but we are looking at months down the road,” Hyde said about securing federal funding.
“Is it possible that I could borrow the funds from the general county fund and proceed on purchasing a truck?” Hyde then asked board members.
“If anybody in Yalobusha county needs a truck, it is this man,” District One Supervisor Tommy Vaughn said, although he told board members he was against purchasing a heavy duty, four wheel drive vehicle with a diesel engine.
Hyde explained that if Homeland Security funds become available, it would be contingent on buying a heavy-duty truck that would meet federal requirements.
“You are going to have to have something to pull a trailer with,” Surrette also added.
District Five supervisor Frank “Bubba” Tillman made the motion to purchase a new truck after several different options were discussed.
“I am for getting a nice truck with plenty of power to do whatever we have to do with the truck,” Tillman said.
The truck will be assigned for use with the multiple jobs that Hyde performs, including EMA director, E-911 director, and fire coordinator.
If the 2005 Dodge truck is fixed, Hyde suggested selling the vehicle to offset the purchase price of the new vehicle.