MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Following a winter that saw an endless stream of complaints from residents frustrated with shoddy snow removal practices in Mount Vernon, Department of Public Works officials took painstaking efforts to ensure they weren’t fooled again.
Last year, an aging fleet of DPW vehicles wreaked havoc on the city as truck after truck broke down as Mother Nature continued dumping snow, sleet and hail on Mount Vernon during a ruthless winter.
As a result, DPW crews have been hard at work, converting six trucks from electric to hydraulic plowing systems in a project that included elaborate body work and new lights to help combat the elements. Additionally, a pair of trucks have been retrofitted with all-season bodies that will aid bulk snow and ice removal.
Additionally, two highway plows have been retrofitted to street plows, and there are plans to convert even more to ensure Mount Vernon is covered in the event of another major storm.
The radical changes came after DPW Garage Foreman Vincent Rodriguez pitched the idea to Commissioner Curtis Woods and Garage Superintendent John Moses, noting it would be more affordable than purchasing new vehicles, and that personnel in the DPW could make the necessary changes.
It is estimated the work done on the fleet will save taxpayers $1.5 million. The supplies to alter the trucks cost less than $100,000.
It took a village of city employees to make the necessary changes, with crews from the garage taking four months to make the improvements after completing their normal city duties.
Electrical and hydraulic modifications were done by mechanics Larry Renkismire, Edgar Torres, Ron Lyane, Steve Brown, Kevin Holder and John Fonseca. The metal fabrication on the trucks was performed by welder Victor Holder and mechanic Tim Price was tasked with the body work and painting. Tim Bates, DPW tire man, installed the tires and fitted the snow trucks with chains.
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