New computers for squad cars approved

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners approved Tuesday using DWI forfeiture funds to replace seven in-car computers for $26,304.25.

The in-car computer upgrades would accommodate a mobile package, GPS (Global Positioning System), mapping, e-citation and e-charging. The cost is under Minnesota State contract pricing.

The M7 CPU computers would include 8GB RAM, a 12-month warranty, WiFi, GPS and LVDS expansion, 64GB SSD storage and operate on Windows 7 64 BIT plus a black GPS, WiFi and cellular panorama antenna. The cost includes a $1,400 trade-in allowance for seven M6 CPU computer.

Brown County Chief Deputy Jason Seidl said the existing in-car computers are four years old and that he hopes the new ones will last three to five years.

Commissioners approved:

By a 3-1 vote with Commissioner Richard Seeboth dissenting, buying two new 2014 Ford All-Wheel-Drive, four-door, Police Interceptor SUVs for $57,663.64 from Nelson Auto, Fergus Falls to replace two existing squads to be taken out of service.

A motion to buy the SUVs locally died for lack of a second.

Bids under Minnesota State Contract pricing were $28,943.81 each, $57,887.62 total from Spaeth Ford, plus pre-delivery inspections costs; and $28,831.82 each, $57,663.64 total from Nelson Auto.

The purchase of three squads was previously approved by commissioners for the 2014 budget.

The old SUVs got 14 mpg city, 21 highway, and the new ones are rated at 16 city, 21 highway.

Buying a new Chevrolet Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle to replace existing squad with 135,777 miles at the end of February. Cost is $27,156 at Ranger GM, Hibbing, which has the 2014 state contract. Chief Deputy Jason Seidl said the local Chevrolet dealer was not able to order a police pursuit vehicle.

When replaced, the old squads will be deemed surplus and sold.

A report on Sheriff’s Office activities. It included information of the increase in 911 calls, which were 2,562 more from 2011 to 2013. Seidl said more 911 calls are made now due in part to more residents owning cellphones.

Awarding contracts to the low bidder for CSAH 13 from 220th Street to Camelsback Road, from New Ulm to the Minnesota River; CSAH 16 from TH 14 to the north county line; CSAH 22 from TH 4 to CSAH 10; and CSAH 29 from CSAH 12 to TH 14 for planned cold, in-place recycle and overlay surface rehabilitation.

Bids were opened March 12. The Highway Department recommended the low bid of $3,289,611.06 by Knife River Corp., which was 7.27 percent under estimate.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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