The City Council announced during the September 10 Work Session meeting that the City has ordered three new sanitization trucks for the Department of Public Works (DPW) to replace some of the prior fleet.
Residents of Newburgh have long complained about the untimely garbage pickups, however, the City Council is hopeful that the new trucks will benefit the City greatly.
“Our sanitation team and DPW Superintendent have had a whole host of various issues come up with our sanitation trucks,” said City Manager Joseph Donat. “We have repaired and replaced multiple engines and have made several other very critical repairs to our fleet.”
Four sanitization trucks are running daily. These four trucks are number 02-2, 06-1, 06-2, 14-2. The first numbers represent the year the trucks were purchased.
“We have a very old fleet on our hands,” said Donat. “This contingency transfer is going to offset the number of expenses that have already occurred regarding the repairs to the fleets.”
The City expects to receive the new sanitization trucks within the next several months, which are being custom built.
They will have a mechanism on the back of the truck to lift garbage cans.
This year, the City spent approximately $138,000 in repairs across all of the old sanitization trucks. However, the new trucks the city is receiving were funded on a bond passed earlier this year.
“We would cycle out some of the older vehicles that we have spent a great deal of money on repairs and keep the newer trucks on as a standby.” said Donat.
The budget amendment, that all council members voted yes to, allows a transfer of $200,000 from Sanitation Contingency to Sanitation-Operation of Motor Vehicles and Repairs.
Councilmembers brought up concerns regarding the recent breakdown of one of the older trucks and were questioning if a total of seven trucks would be enough.
“One of the things that happened on my street and a couple of other streets, when the truck broke down, that trash was sitting out for a long time,” said Councilman Anthony Grice. “I got several complaints about the garbage sitting there.”
Mid August three out of four of the sanitation trucks were facing repairs simultaneously, which led to considerable delays in pickup.
Comptroller Todd Venning confirmed that seven trucks would be more than enough to cover the City.
“I am glad that we are getting new trucks,” said Councilwoman Ramona Monteverde. “I want to make sure that when the trucks break down, it’s really important that George Garrison get the word out that there will or will not be a delay in garbage pickup. We need to communicate to the public because people do not understand trucks have broken down and what’s going on with the routine pickup.”
Additionally, whenever there is a federal holiday there is a delay in garbage pickup.
On top of the new sanitation trucks, the City of Newburgh received a new street sweeper, which has been in operation since mid-September. The Ravo street sweeper provides up to 20 percent fuel reduction and is replacing a 2006 model that underwent several repairs.
The new sweeper cost $260,000 and was funded by the Capital Bond.
Mayor Torrance Harvey also discussed the opportunity to look into more bulk pickup dates for the City of Newburgh in 2021.
Currently the City has bulk pickup twice a year, once after Earth Day in April and the other in October. They are currently awaiting confirmation of the October pickup date.