After much back-and-forth over whether to purchase new street sweepers so soon after buying a fleet of seven machines, the city council on Tuesday evening relented approving $1 million to buy four new sweepers.
Paterson has agreed to buy 4 TYMCO Model 600 regenerative air sweepers through a lease-purchase agreement for $1,011,380 from Texas-based TYMCO Inc. Public works director Manny Ojeda told council members these machines are easy to maintain citing old machines the city returned to service after experiencing problems with RAVO 5 machines.
“That’s what we’ve been operating over 10 years,” said Ojeda. His arguments did not work in late 2015 when mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ administration tried to buy five TYMCO machines.
This time, the administration is using funds from the Clean Communities and Recycling grants which made it easier to secure approval from the council. Alex Mendez, councilman at-large, cited the use of grants, before he voted in favor of the contract.
“Everybody was happy when they heard grant money,” added Luis Velez, 5th Ward councilman.
The city is paying $909,800 for the 4 sweepers and $101,580 in interest at 4.34-percent over a five-year period. The city will keep the machines after five years by paying a nominal $1 fee. Paterson will pay $184,080 per year from Dec. 1st, 2017 through Dec. 1, 2021. Mendez asked whether the grant money will cover the entire cost of the four sweepers and not just the annual payment.
Ojeda said the two grants will pay for the entire cost of the four machines.
Council members also asked about maintenance agreement to ensure these new machines are maintained properly. Council president William McKoy asked whether the city is entering into a maintenance agreement to ensure the machines are properly maintained.
Hector Rodriguez, sales representative from Farmingdale-based Trius, who sold the new machines to the city, said these sweepers require basic maintenance like oil change.
Rodriguez, who is a constant presence in the public works yard, said city mechanics will be able to maintain the machines. He also sold machines to Paterson in 2003, he said.
The city did not have a maintenance agreement with Belleville-based Northeast Sweepers which sold the seven RAVO 5 sweepers for $1.3 million in 2014 resulting in machine breakdowns. The breakdowns left city streets “filthy” in the past two summers. The breakdowns resulted from a mix of reckless operation and poor maintenance, revealed city maintenance records.
Ojeda told council members on Tuesday evening the new owners of Northeast Sweepers have agreed to repair the city’s 7 RAVO machines at no cost to taxpayers. “They are going to repair all the machines up to par at no cost to the city,” he said. “They are going to get them running the way they are supposed be.”
Both the the dealer and manufacturer of the RAVO machines have repeatedly tried to assist the city as it complained about the machines over the past two years. When the machines broke down in 2015, the manufacturer intervened to assist in repairing them.
The director has previously said the city will continue to use the RAVO machines for smaller streets and parking lots.
Council members approved the purchase without any opposition.
“A lot of calls come in when the streets is not swept. We got to start sweeping our streets,” said Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman.