MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Rising fuel costs forced the Mount Vernon Department of Public Works to request $50,000 more in the proposed 2013 budget, Public Works Commissioner Curtis Woods said.
Woods said the DPW budgeted $500,000 in 2012 for fuel and has no choice but to ask for $550,000 this year. Gas prices in New York State averaged $3.87 per gallon as of Tuesday. Woods said the DPW is working on a fuel master system to monitor the efficiency of the vehicles. “It will give us warning signs when one vehicle is burning gas faster than another,” Woods said about the new system.
Additionally, Woods said that the DPW is once again asking for $400,000 to be budgeted in 2013 for vehicle repairs and maintenance. Still, money is tight in 2012 and Woods said the DPW has already spent 437,000 on repairs with one month to go in the calendar year.
Woods said the money budgeted doesn’t all go for maintenance of DPW vehicles but is budgeted in the department for repairs on all municipal vehicles.
Even with the maintenance performed on the vehicles, Woods said the city is two trucks short for snowplowing adding that for big snowstorms the city is forced to use two smaller trucks together in one area since they are not as powerful as the city’s large vehicles.
“Once the snow gets heavy there is a strain on the vehicles,” Woods said. “Right now we basically have trucks from the 1980s and we want to get new trucks. This is one reason maintenance costs have gone up.”
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