After lackluster performance from the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW) earlier in the year, often blamed on antiquated or non-existing equipment, municipal officials are purchasing an assortment of equipment to better equip the department.
Municipal officials unveiled a $1 million spending plan to purchase much-needed equipment. Below is a list of the equipment being acquired:
- 2 Leach Model 2RIII 29 cubic yard rear loader refuse body for recycling trucks for $174,795. Contract is going to Totowa-based Sanitation Equipment Corporation.
- 2 Western Star Cab and Chassis trucks for $265,392. Contract is being awarded to Hudson County Motors of Secaucus.
- 3 2020 International Cab and Chassis and dump body snow trucks for $403,863. Contract is being given to Langhorne, Penn-based Bucks County International.
- 1 Intimidator 19XPC (19” drum style) Brush Bandit chipper for $84,067. Contract is going to Woodland Park-based Northeastern Arborist Supply.
- And 1 2020 Ford Explorer (K8B) base 4WD for $28,860. Contract is going to Morristown-based Beyer Ford.
- 3 snowplows and 3 salt spreaders for $118,337. Contract is being awarded to Farmingdale-based Trius Inc.
Councilman William McKoy, chairman of the public works committee, described the investment as “long-awaited” on Tuesday night. He said the city has waited a long time for a chipper to process fallen and cut down trees.
“There’s more things we need to buy,” added councilman Luis Velez, vice chairman of the public works committee. “Hopefully, we can get this department well-staffed so they can use the equipment the right way.”
Councilman Flavio Rivera, chairman of the finance committee, expressed his displeasure at the poor performance in the spring and summer. He criticized the department for poor upkeep of fields and parks; failure to pick up resident’s curbside recycling on a timely basis; and failure to handle upkeep of trees at parks and sidewalks.
Rivera often sparred with public works director William Rodriguez. Public works officials in turn blamed the administration and the council for failing to provide them equipment to efficiently carry out the tasks.
Rivera found the department hadn’t submitted a capital plan to acquire new equipment. He forced the department to submit a capital improvement plan which was funded through borrowing measures to purchase equipment to deliver services to residents.
Municipal officials over the years have been reluctant to purchase equipment for public works. Some employees in the department fail to take proper care of the equipment. Velez suggested Rodriguez place tags on the newly purchased equipment that state, “Read the Instruction Before Operating” to ensure the equipment lasts a long time.
“That would be good to put into every vehicle,” said Velez. He said he brought the tag from his visit to Atlantic City as part of the League of Municipalities event last month.
“Send it to me,” said Rodriguez. He was open to placing such tags in the vehicles.