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Kendall puts brakes on deal for new coroner’s vehicle

Ken Toftoy Kendall County Coroner

Ken Toftoy, Kendall County Coroner

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Updated: March 22, 2013 10:32AM

YORKVILLE – Kendall County Board members appeared set to approve purchase of a new vehicle for the coroner’s office until they forgot one detail.

Board member John Purcell, Finance Committee chairman, realized that because the purchase was for more than $30,000, the county needed to send out requests for proposals, called RFPs, asking if anyone wanted to bid on providing the vehicle.

So board members tabled the measure, which still will likely cost the county somewhere around $37,000, until the process can be observed.

Coroner Ken Toftoy had gotten two bids he solicited from two different area dealers for the vehicle, a sports utility vehicle specially equipped for the coroner’s office needs. Over the past several months, Toftoy has been making a case to board members to replace a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban with more than 124,000 miles on it that started giving him trouble last fall.

“The steering was not right, so I got a price late last fall,” Toftoy said.

But not only was the price for fixing the vehicle high, it was particularly high for a vehicle with so many miles, he said.

He got two prices, both in the $40,000 range, for new vehicles. Toftoy said he negotiated the prices down to $37,828 and $39,000.

“I worked hard to make this purchase reasonable,” he said.

In addition to those base prices, the new vehicle would need between $3,000 and $4,000 worth of equipment installed, Toftoy said. One piece of equipment is a new radio. With the recent equipment upgrade for KenCom, the county’s emergency dispatch service, the old radio does not work anymore, Toftoy said.

Also, a new vehicle will sit higher than the Suburban did, so it will need a ramp-like device to allow gurneys to be loaded into the back.

At last week’s Finance Committee meeting, Purcell and other committee members hammered out a deal to pay the $37,828 for the vehicle out of general fund contingency money. Toftoy then would pay the new equipment cost out of an equipment fund he has fed by a $6,000 grant he put aside, and a fee attached to death certificates, cremation certificates and the like.

While the arrangement might still be about the same, eventually, board members now will have to wait and see how the RFP process plays out.

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