St. Martinville votes to buy mayor new vehicle

St. Martinville Mayor Melinda Mitchell speaks with residents at the Nov. 18 city council meeting. St. Martinville city council members voted to buy Mitchell a Chevrolet Equinox. The new vehicle will cost the city $20,314.26 under state contract.

Photo by Heidi Thevis

Heidi Thevis

The St. Martinville city council voted to buy the mayor a city-owned vehicle at their meeting Nov. 18.

Originally, Mayor Melinda Mitchell was receiving $800 a month from the city to cover the cost of her car, its fuel, its maintenance and insurance. After a year of receiving the allowance, Mitchell said she decided she would prefer having a city-owned vehicle because the $800 did not cover those costs. 

At the city council meeting, Mitchell gave a packet of papers to the council members that included five different cars and the costs to lease or buy them outright. She asked the council to choose between her top three choices.

“The $800 has gone back into the budget, and I’m asking for you to look at the five vehicles with the Chevrolet Equinox as the first, the Dodge Durango as the second and the Ford Fusion as the third,” Mitchell said.

The council voted to buy Mitchell the Chevrolet Equinox, which will cost the city $20,314.26 under state contract. Mitchell said she is satisfied with the outcome of the situation.

“I think it will benefit the citizens of St. Martinville,” Mitchell said.

Councilman Mike Fuselier said the council left the decision to Mitchell. He found the Ford Fusion in Breaux Bridge and would have been immediately available, but the Chevrolet Equinox was Mitchell’s first choice.

“It was her first choice, so we went with it,” Fuselier said. “I try to work with the mayor every chance I get.”

Because Mitchell’s car allowance was put back into St. Martinville’s budget, the city will be able to afford a new car for Mitchell to use for the remainder of her term as mayor.

“We were giving $800 a month, and we spent almost $10,000 a year on that allocation,” Fuselier said. “This way, in two years’ payment, we’ll own this vehicle.”

Neither Mitchell or Fuselier knew when Mitchell would be receiving the Chevrolet Equinox because it will need to be ordered, but Fuselier said she can use the former mayor’s truck until it comes in.

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