Portage OKs GPS units for street, park vehicles

2013-12-09T13:46:00Z 2013-12-09T19:12:19Z Portage OKs GPS units for street, park vehiclesJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | City officials will have the ability to better track where some city vehicles are going or where they've been.

The Portage Board of Works approved a contract Monday with Teletrac Fleet Management of Garden Grove, Calif. to install GPS equipment on street and parks department vehicles.

The cost of the contract is $27.03 per month per vehicle. For 35 units, the annual cost would be $11,352.

Assistant Street Department Superintendent Randy Reeder said the company will provide the units and installation at no cost to the city. Once installed, the equipment will be property of the city.

Reeder said the units will be installed on all garbage/recycling trucks, snowplows, street sweepers and leaf trucks. The information gathered, he said, will allow the department to become more efficient on routes.

The equipment will tell the location of a vehicle, as well as leave a "bread crumb" as to where it has been. It will also notify officials if a vehicle has sat idle for more than five minutes or if a driver is speeding.

Parks Superintendent Jenny Orsburn said she would like to have the GPS units installed on her department's vehicles as well.

In other business, the board approved looking into new police vehicles.

Assistant Chief Bill Mesich said six cars will be purchased through the Indiana State Police bidding system and four SUVs will be purchased through local bids. The estimated cost for the 10 vehicles is $248,500.

Mesich said this is the third year the city has purchased 10 cars. Old vehicles are distributed to other city departments or given to reserve officers.

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