PARK RAPIDS, MN - Hubbard County is carefully debating whether to fulfill the Sheriff Department's request to purchase three new squad cars and auction older models in tight budget times, according to Park Rapids Enterprise.

The department was asking for two new squad vehicles, which typically have been Ford Crown Victorias, and a new SUV. Safety and high mileage were discussed as reasons to replace the law enforcement department's aging fleet at a recent county meeting.

Vehicles are not the only shortage the department is facing. The department has not replaced at least one deputy that resigned last spring, according to Sheriff Frank Homer.

While the county has managed to reduce spending by $500,000 than this time last year, county auditor Pam Heeren said the county should not spend funds on big-ticket items until November tax collections are complete, reported the Enterprise. The commission took no action on the request, agreeing to wait until the year-end budget picture becomes clearer.