By Terry Schrimscher
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville City Council held a special called meeting on Monday night, November 11, to discuss the budget for the fiscal year 2021-22. Also on the agenda was a request from Police Chief Wayne Walton for the purchase of new vehicles.
Chief Walton has requested three new vehicles for the Springville Police Department. One new vehicle was approved in a previous council meeting, but Walton fears supply chain issues may delay future vehicle purchases if they do not act quickly. The two additional cars are projected to cost $73,000 with, potentially, an additional $24,000 to equip the vehicles properly.
“We’ve learned that GM has halted production on these vehicles,” said Mayor Dave Thomas. “Ford is following suit, and I heard, just today, Toyota’s going to do the same,” he said.
Global supply chain issues have caused delays in semiconductor chip production, creating delays in automobile manufacturing worldwide. The cause of the shortage in chips has been attributed to labor, transportation, and material shortages brought on by pandemic restrictions.
According to estimates from CNBC, the chip shortage is expected to cost the automobile industry $210 billion in lost revenue in 2021. However, it is unclear how long the shortages will last or how shortages will impact inventories over the next few years.
“It would be my recommendation that we approve the ordering of the vehicles,” Thomas said. “We can take them up as they come and adjust accordingly with the budget.”
Mayor Thomas expressed concern that delays could push back the availability of future vehicles to 2024 or beyond. He suggested proceeding with the order of the extra two vehicles and allowing the council an opportunity to approve the purchases when the vehicles are actually ready.
“When it comes time to make that decision,” Thomas said, “if the council chooses to not go forward, we can do so. There are other departments, other cities that would be glad to take the cars because there won’t be any more until 2024.”
The council gave Chief Walton verbal approval to order the vehicles and then moved on to discuss the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.
The proposed budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year is $11,167,741 including $7,997,320 in the general fund and $2,585,040 for water and sewer. The budget is expected to be brought up for a vote at the next regular meeting on October 18