Bellville Village Council members ponder repairs to 2012 police cruiser

By Louise Swartzwalder -

BELLVILLE — Protecting residents of a village is no easy task, if you consider matters on the minds of members of a village council committee.

It’s certainly not just about showing off the bright silver and blue police vehicles in Bellville.

It also involves taking care of those rolling patrol cars

The village safety committee recently discssed its most current problem, caring for a 2012 Dodge Charger.

It recently had a lot of “front end” work done on it. Now, it has a problem with its engine.

Police chief Ron Willey told committee members last week he has “said all along” that keeping such a vehicle past 100,000 miles leads to disaster.

But that vehicle has turned out to be more reliable that newer vehicles, committee members were told.

So what does the village do to take care of it, when financial resources are limited, Willey asked.

Eric Winbigler, of Winbigler Restoration and Repair in Butler, pulled together information about options the village could take.

A new motor could be put in the Charger, or it could be coupled with additional part changes, like a new transmission, said Winbigler. A used motor with 37,000 miles on it could be had for $2,900, it was learned.

Committee member Stephen Edwards said the situation was “upside down,” but that the village needs the vehicle for service. He mentioned a hitch and horses.

Willey said his department spends $2,000 a year per car for maintenance, so there is no leeway in the Police Department budget.

Edwards, who committee members said was an “engine guy,” said if the village put in a motor with 37,000 miles in it, then engine consumables — injectors, quill packs and other items – could be put in a box and later the village would “have something to fall back on.”

Winbigler told the committee it was their decision to make about the vehicle.

“Here’s the thing,” he said. “You guys have got the information you need.”

He said — in his mind — the vehicle is “too good to throw out.”

It was agreed the million dollar question would be how to get money out of the budget to fix it.

Willey said it would take a “little bit here, a little bit there” to pull the funds together.

“A new motor is the way to go,” said village administrator Larry Weirich

The committee agreed it would be good to pull together information and refer it to village council’s finance committee.

The committee also discussed the problem several had observed with a box truck parked on Markey Street.

Under village ordinances, such a vehicle should not be parked on the street longer than 48 hours.

Willey said the thing to do would be to mark the tires and wait 48 hours to see if is still parked there. An electrical cord is running from the vehicle, and several said they thought they had heard a dog inside the truck.

By Louise Swartzwalder