If I was the Mayor of Nitro I would have to drive a Nitro! Anyone been there? Would be a great place to take a picture of yours with the City Limits Sign in the background.
Charleston Daily Mail
Nitro mayor questions fire chief's use of Durango
Friday June 01, 2007
Nitro's fire chief is under scrutiny for his use of a Dodge Durango the city bought him in 2005 to drive to emergencies.
Chief Ernie Hedrick has racked up at least 22,000 miles on the city-owned vehicle in the last 1 1/2 years, records show.
Mayor Rusty Casto said city officials bought Hedrick the $22,000 vehicle so Hedrick wouldn't have to risk his own car at the scenes of emergencies.
"That truck was for him to drive in so if there was a call he could respond immediately," Casto said. The Durango has a city license plate, and city officials pay for the gas.
Town residents frequently see Hedrick driving around town in the red Durango. Casto said he's heard Hedrick even takes his kids to school in it.
Nitro city officials
get gasoline through the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority, which provides fuel to local government agencies at a discount. KRT keeps fuel records for every gallon of gas or diesel fuel sold by the authority.
During the past year, KRT records show, Hedrick put 1,041 gallons of government gas in the Durango. He drove approximately 12,500 miles.
Casto said Nitro is about five miles long and about three miles wide.
According to KRT officials, Hedrick is averaging about 1,000 miles a month in the Durango and using about 87 gallons of gas. But there is a discrepancy between the number of miles Hedrick reported for the Durango and the number of miles KRT calculated the truck has been driven.
Every time they get fuel, city officials are required to enter their vehicle's odometer reading on a computer keypad. On April 20, records show, Hedrick got 16 gallons of gas and reported the odometer reading as 22,224 miles.
Based on the amount of gas Hedrick has gotten since driving the truck, KRT officials calculated the Durango should have been driven less than 15,000 miles.
KRT officials said the records include only gas Hedrick bought through KRT. If Hedrick took the truck out of town for a conference or went out of state for some reason, any gas he bought somewhere else wouldn't show up in the calculations. KRT officials believe the Durango has been driven close to 25,000 miles since being registered in September 2005.
Attempts to reach Hedrick on Wednesday and Thursday were unsuccessful. Casto said it looks as if Hedrick is using the Durango for more than driving around town. "On the surface, yes it does," the mayor said.
According to county tax records, the only vehicle Hedrick is paying taxes on is a 2004 Ford F-350 pickup truck. Casto said he saw Hedrick driving the Ford on Wednesday.
Before that, the mayor said, he hadn't seen Hedrick in his own vehicle for "a while."