City of Olean Considers Vehicle Replacement Options

May 24, 2010

Several proposals to allocate funds and establish protocols to replace many City of Olean vehicles were recently considered by city officials, according to the Olean Times Herald.

Currently, the City owns 70 vehicles among all its departments. Five of the vehicles were taken off the road after they were deemed unsafe.

During the May 18 City Operations Committee meeting, members discussed a proposal to transfer $150,000 in leftover funds from various accounts in the city's current budget year toward a vehicle replacement program. Through the program, the City would lease vehicles used for light utility work or transportation. Other heavy utility vehicles would be replaced with new vehicles.

Explaining the need for the proposal, Mayor Witte said in the past year the city has spent nearly $95,000 on replacement parts for city-owned vehicles that fell into a state of disrepair, not including labor or sending vehicles out for repair, reported the Herald.

Ashok Kapoor, director of the city's Department of Public Works, said the transportation or light-utility vehicles would be leased on an incremented schedule to prevent the program from being forgotten. The incremented lease schedule would go past the terms of elected officials. Local dealerships would receive preferential consideration so long as they provide the competitive leasing rates, Kapoor said, according to the Herald.

During the Public Safety Committee meeting, members approved sending a proposal establishing a Police Capital Equipment Replacement Fund for consideration at the Common Council's next legislative session.

Should the fund be created, the Olean Police Department would have designated capital for the replacement and upkeep of its vehicles as well as money for other departmental expenses. The proposed fund would cover many of the department's line items in the annual city budget.

In other action, committee members discussed a proposal by Earl McElfresh, R-Ward 1, to install global positioning system units in city-owned vehicles to monitor their locations. McElfresh told fellow committee members he made the proposal in the interest of public safety.

Citing the costs to install and implement the monitoring systems, committee tabled the proposal until more information was available, according to the Herald.


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