Summerside buys hybrid cars for police department

Published on August 14, 2014

Summerside police station

SUMMERSIDE — City council has approved the purchase of two new hybrid vehicles for the police department, but the bid award recommendation raised some questions with both the mayor and deputy mayor.

The city sent requests for proposals for two new hybrid cars to be used as unmarked vehicles for the department.

Bids meeting specifications were submitted by Clark's Toyota in the amount of $53,249 for the Camry; Kia Motors at $52,480 for the Optimum Hybrid; D Alex MacDonald for $51,686 for the Fusion; and Summerside Hyundai for the Sonata for $50,200.

Deputy Police Chief Sinclair Walker took each vehicle for a test drive and found the Camry to be the most suitable.

Although it was not the lowest bid received by the city, Walker recommended the Camry be the vehicle selected.

Police Chief David Poirier said the city purchased two Camrys seven years ago and both served the city well, only requiring routine maintenance.

The police services committee followed Walker's suggestion and recommended council approve the purchase of the Toyotas.

Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart had difficulty in accepting that the lowest bid was not accepted and questioned the decision.

"I'm not really sure that it's fair to say that the ones that we have required very little service," the mayor said. "I'm not sure whether that should be a selling point."

Stewart noted that the price submitted by Summerside Hyundai and Kia Motors were both lower than that proposed by Clark's Toyota.

Coun. Tina Mundy, chairwoman of the police services committee, supported the bid recommendation.

"I test-drive a car when I'm about to buy one," Mundy said.