Town Board, 5-14-2014
Highway Department Trucks
Going through a list of the department’s current inventory of 21 trucks and their age, which he said averaged 20 years, Highway Superintendent Paganelli appealed to the board for funds to purchase at least three new trucks, needed primarily for road salting. He said some of the trucks now in use would not pass inspection and he was concerned for the safety of his workers. While in past years the town has purchased one or two trucks per year, he pointed out that there were several years during which no trucks were purchased. He said that while he could get the job down without the new trucks, that would increase response time from 4 hours to 6½ hours. Each truck would cost about $177,000.
(Although the Highway Fund currently has a fund balance of about $200,000, Mr. Paganelli said the department’s 2014 salt line was $142,000 over budget.)
He said that if the trucks were ordered by next month, they could be delivered by November and be available for the next snow season. Having already priced the trucks available through the county and state bid system, he advised the board that in terms of both price and timing he preferred to purchase the trucks off the county and state bids whereas Supervisor Grace seemed inclined toward going out for a separate town bid.
Comptroller Caporale suggested that if the town financed the purchase of three trucks this year with a bond anticipation note (BAN), it could pay only the interest in 2015 and then begin to pay off the principal beginning in 2016 when the pool bond issue would be paid off ; this plan would enable to town to stay within the 2% tax levy cap. Trucks can be bonded for 15 years. Explaining that the town can’t go years without purchasing new trucks Supervisor Grace asked the comptroller to prepare an analysis of different funding options for three and four trucks.
Sewer truck bids/fleet maintenance issues
Town Board, 9-26-2012
Acting Town Engineer Sharon Robinson asked the Board to award a bid for two sewer trucks to the second lowest bidder as the lowest bid did not meet all the specs. The sum of $50,000 for two new trucks was included in the 2012 sewer budget. However, since the budget was approved, two things have happened: the department spent $16,000 to purchase a used truck from the Northern Westchester Joint Water Works and the head of the Central Garage notified Ms. Robinson that one of the department’s current trucks should be scrapped for safety reasons. Martin McGannon a sewer department employee, said that in the past, the department’s vehicles were typically hand-me-downs. If the Board wanted to proceed with the two purchases, Ms. Robinson said that any needed additional funds could be taken from other sewer department budget lines.As long as the money is there, she said, why not buy the two trucks now instead of buying only one now and then having to go out to bid again next year for a second truck.
In response to the list of problems associated with the current vehicle that had safety issues, Supervisor Grace said that the problems were all due to a lack cleaning, a problem he said that exists for other town vehicles. He said he has instructed department heads to prepare a folder on each vehicle in their department, including photographs.He also said the Town might look into an outside service that cleaned vehicles.
Town Board, 3/26/2012
Supervisor Grace advised the board that during a meeting of the Fleet Committee he learned from Don Gaffney, the head mechanic in the Central Garage, that the four police cars that the Police Department wanted to auction off were in good shape even if they couldn’t be used for high speed chases and that it made sense to use them, possibly for other departments rather than auction them off for $300-$400. (Note: at an earlier meeting, the Police Department's request to auction off the cars was postponed pending getting additinoal information about the cars.)
Supervisor Grace also informed the board that a DEC Mac packer truck with only 14,000 miles but with a blown engine would be given to the Highway Department which will convert the truck to its own use.The existing truck body is no longer usable.
Town Board, 6/19/2012
Approved the purchase of a fuel monitoring system, at a cost of %53,706, plus optional three one-year extended warranties at $4,327.50 per year.
Town Board, 6/12/2012
The board discussed the pros and cons of two models of a system that can record and monitor fuel usage for town vehicles. The new system will replace an existing system installed in 1997 and which is too old to repair. Last year, the Town spent approximately $500,000 for fuel.
The less expensive system requires driver input and just records fuel consumption; the more expensive model which costs $13,000-$18,000 more doesn’t require driver action and operates automatically as soon as the fuel pump is connected to the car. The second system also reads/records all car systems from the car’s computer which can then be used to schedule preventative maintenance check ups . The board decided to go with the more expensive system,but try it out initially on 36 Police Department vehicles. In addition to the basic software, each car connected to the system needs a special $270 reader. The cost of the system will be approximately $54,000, although it was not clear from the discussion whether that was a total cost that included the readers. Additional costs associated with the installation and the need for a new computer were not immediately available.
The board did not decide how it was going to pay for the system. One option would be from the General Fund while a second option would be to charge separate funds based on their usage. For example, while the General Fund accounts for 74% of the total fuel usage, the water, sewer and refuse special districts make up the remaining 36%. While the Town Board made reference to using funds from a prior energy grant to pay for the system, the staff member in charge of the grant explained that the grant money had been fully used up.
As part of the discussion, Supervisor Grace said the Town needed to get a better handle on the number of town vehicles. While Kim Gage, the interim departmenthead for the Central Garage, said that she had 209 “cards” for the existing monitoring system, Supervisor Grace noted that the town insurance inventory listed 243 vehicles. Comptroller Joan Goldberg explained that some of the items listed on the inventory, such as trailers, were “equipment” and not vehicles and were covered under different insurance policies.
Town Board, 5/8/2012
Supervisor Grace said the town is still looking into whether the new fuel master system can be purchased with energy grant funds.
Town Board, 3/13/2012
See discussion on use of energy stimulus funds and purchase of sewer department trucks
Town Board, 2/28/2012
Supervisor Grace said he would work with Councilman Paganelli on an alternate approach to keeping track of gas usage by town vehicles. The vendor who was supposed to replace the inoperable encoder advised the town that a new encoder would not work with the town’s existing software and that as an interim measure he will supply to town with new individual cards.
Town Board, 1/24/2012
Kim Angliss-Gage, Acting Recycling Coordinator, explained that a part for the town’s current Gasboy system, a 14 year old DOS based computer system which keeps track of the gasoline usage for different departments, was broken and needed to be repaired at a cost of about $3,500. The issue was whether to repair the old system or move to a new system. The 2-card authorization system keeps track of what driver and what vehicle used how much gasoline so that each department can be appropriately charged. Last year, the town spent in excess of $400,000 on gasoline.
Recognizing that something had to be done immediately so that proper usage could be recorded, the board authorized the repair, but also discussed two options for the future: purchasing a newer version of the Gasboy software or having its vehicles fill up for gas at a local station on a contract bid basis.
Ms. Angliss-Gage explained that the cost of a new Gasboy system varied, depending on what functions were included in the software page. She estimated that to get the functions we now have, would cost approximately $40,000, plus an additional unknown cost for the town’s IT consultant to install the system. As an alternative, Highway Superintendent DiBartolo suggested that the town follow Cortlandt’s example and contract out for gasoline purchases. The main advantage of this approach, he said, was that the town could eliminate the need for underground tanks which created ongoing regulatory problems that were costly. The main issue with the latter approach was the need to make sure that the station that won the bid had a generator in the event there was no electricity. Mr. DiBartolo also discussed the feasibility of installing microchips in each vehicle that not only would read gasoline usage, but could also identify when a vehicle needed servicing.
Supervisor Grace spoke about the importance of preventive maintenance for our fleet as a way to extend the life of our vehicles. One need that was identified was washing the under carriage of cars. (the Highway Department does wash down its trucks.) According to Mr. DiBartolo, there was a plan in place years ago to do this, at a cost of $5 per vehicle at a local car wash but the plan either was never put into practice or ceased operation.(The point was not clarified.)
Supervisor Grace said that the Fleet Committee needed to meet to discuss vehicle related issues.
Fleet maintenance software
Town Board, 6/19/2012
David Goldberg asked again about the Town’s fleet maintenance program and whether the Town had GPS devices in its vehicles to track driver usage. Highway Superintendent DiBartolo said that 68% of his department’s vehicles had the equipment which was first installed in 2003. He said he gets printouts from the devices.
Town Board, 6/5/2012
In response to David Goldberg’s repeated suggestion that the Town purchase fleet maintenance software, Supervisor Grace said that the Town had applied for a grant for a fuel monitoring system. He also explained that one of the reasons for the shorter life span of the bodies of the Town’s trucks was that they were not being washed on a regular basis. While cars could be sent to a local car wash, he said that there were no facilities for truck washing.
Town Board, 5/8/2012
Supervisor Grace briefly mentioned that the Town was looking into getting fleet management software but there was no discussion about what possible grant would fund it or how much it would cost.