PITTSBURGH – The city of Pittsburgh’s 1,000-vehicle fleet will get a big tune-up this year with the purchase of 151 new cars and trucks, under a buying plan unveiled by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and approved by City Council.

The $9.1 million plan got the thumbs-up as Mr. Ravenstahl and U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle went to Carrick to unveil two new ladder trucks bought separately with federal Department of Homeland Security money, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Besides 109 police cars, for $2.9 million, the administration plans to buy 10 fire trucks for $3.3 million, 16 public works trucks for $1.2 million, and an assortment of vehicles for paramedics, the parks department, the motor pool, and the animal control division.

The funding comes from the city’s coffers, state sources, the one percent countywide sales tax and a small piece of the city’s federal development grant. Last year, an internal Police Bureau report found a need for 312 vehicles and an inventory of only 267, including 67 that were out of service. The new cruisers, unmarked detective cars, motorcycles and wagons should drive the police fleet to 300 vehicles.

The city’s Equipment Leasing Authority will soon either solicit bids for the vehicles or piggyback on state or other municipal contracts. New police vehicles may not be delivered until fall because of long production schedules.

The most expensive vehicles are two ladder trucks at $625,000 each. The Homeland Security grant, for $1.675 million, also covers diesel exhaust systems to minimize the fumes firefighters breathe.

Council members pushed for commitments to buy environmentally friendly vehicles, and he said the administration is trying to identify hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles.

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