Budget Crunch Prevents New Orleans Vehicle Repairs

August 16, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Equipment Maintenance Division is allegedly housing dozens of unrepaired police cars and city vehicles due to the budget crisis. In some cases, they’ve sat there for months, reported The Times-Picayune.

Ryan Berni, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu, said buget constraints are why the city hasn't been able to make vehicle repairs. The Equipment Maintenance Division had a $3.2 million budget in 2009. In 2010, the division's budget has been cut by 13 percent $2.8 million, and could be cut still further by the end of the year.

Police vehicles consume between 60 percent and 65 percent of the division's budget. Assistant Chief Marlon Defillo asked his police commanders to remind their officers to be careful not to get into any scrapes with their cruisers, because there's no telling when they'll get fixed. City records show of the NOPD's 1,376 vehicles, 78 are awaiting repair at this point, according the newspaper.

Mayor Landrieu is set to release his 2011 budget in the fall.

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