The city’s fleet of sweepers which suffered breakdowns due to lack of maintenance leaving city streets without regular cleaning for almost a month are back in full operation after the city made a payment to the vendor, according to city officials.
Business administrator Nellie Pou said the city paid Belleville-based Northeast Sweepers $55,000. After the company received the payment last week, it dispatched mechanics to the public works yard last Friday to handle the minor repairs needed to make 6 out of the 7 machines purchased two years ago operable again, according city officials.
The city still owes the firm $88,000, said Carmen LoRe, owner of Northeast Sweepers. He had said last week the city owed $140,000 in maintenance fees prior to the payment. He said the city’s machines are up and running except for one that requires a new engine because a driver blew the engine driving the sweeper at an extremely low oil pressure.
“We came out and fixed all the machines,” said LoRe on Friday morning. The city also rebuilt three of its old Tymco sweepers to clean the streets, according to public works employees. Nine machines are now cleaning city streets every week, said employees.
The company offered a maintenance agreement after former mayor Jeffery Jones’ administration completed the purchase two years ago, but the city never entered into an agreement with the firm to handle regular maintenance.