HYATTSVILLE – The city will purchase at least nine new vehicles for the police department, the code compliance department, and the department of public works in the next few months after the purchases were approved by the council at the August 3 meeting. The city council, which previously discussed the purchase of the vehicles […]
HYATTSVILLE – The city will purchase at least nine new vehicles for the police department, the code compliance department, and the department of public works in the next few months after the purchases were approved by the council at the August 3 meeting.
The city council, which previously discussed the purchase of the vehicles during the June meeting as well as in budget negotiations, unanimously approved the purchase of the vehicles. The purchase includes six new sedans and SUVs for the police force, a new hybrid for code compliance and a new pick-up truck and used “bucket” truck for the department of public works (DPW).
All expenditures were budgeted for in the fiscal year 2016 capital improvement plan budget and totaled “just over $600,000 for new equipment and vehicles,” according to Tracey Nicholson, the city administrator.
Lesley Riddle, the director of DPW, said her department is in desperate need of an upgrade to its vehicles and equipment so it can better serve the city.
“During our review of the FY 2016 budget we assessed our current fleet of vehicles at public works. We found that overall most of our vehicles are at or below the recommended depreciation. Additionally the Park Department is missing key pieces of equipment that will facilitate the restoration of existing city parks and sports fields,” Riddle said in a memo to the council.
The hybrid for code compliance will replace a truck the city has used until now. That truck will be transferred to DPW. In total, the department will obtain three vehicles this year.
Jim Chandler, the assistant city administrator, said the upgrades to the city’s vehicles will also help it comply with the city’s sustainability policy as it replaces old cars with hybrids.
“Last year the staff replaced an outdated pick-up truck with the Ford C-Max Hybrid, due in part to its reported 40 combined city/highway miles per gallon (42 city/37 highway), serviceability, and NHTA safety rating,” Chandler said.
He said code compliance was satisfied with the vehicle choice, which is why they requested another one this year.
The six new vehicles for the police will cost the city the grand total of $282,000, which is what was budgeted for. The new hybrid is set to not exceed $26,500 and the two vehicles for DPW, along with the two equipment purchases for snow removal and park maintenance, will cost close to $200,000, which is $100,000 less than budgeted.
Although the purchases were approved unanimously without discussion at the August 3 council meeting, the council did talk about the purchasing options during the July meeting. The hefty price tag for new vehicles was a concern for council members.
At the July 20 meeting, Councilmember Bart Lawrence questioned why the city is pursuing new vehicles and asked if the city considered other options.
Chandler said the city does look at all the options with choosing vehicles. He said the bulk of the purchases the city makes are new cars, but in the past used cars with low mileage and a valid warranty have been chosen.
“Last year we purchased a (Ford) C-Max that was slightly used but we were able to get a longer warranty,” Chandler said. “That’s the only one I’m familiar with, but we were able to find something that fit all the specs, but also we were able to negotiate a warranty.”
As the city considers purchasing new vehicles, Nicholson said, they also attempt to keep business within Prince George’s County. If they cannot, they will seek them elsewhere in Maryland and then into local non-state dealerships. This is part of the city’s procurement policy.
The procurement of the new Ford C-Max hybrid is an example of that process.
“Staff is recommending the mayor and council authorized the acquisition of the 2015 Certified Ford C-Max from Koons Ford of Silver Spring, Maryland. While the price is 1.4 percent higher than the quote provided by Koons Ford of Falls Church, Section 2.1 of the City Procurement Policy allows, preference may be given to those within the Prince George’s County and then the State of Maryland,” said Chandler.
Holland said all law enforcement vehicles must be purchased through Apple Ford in Columbia M.D. as part of a statewide contract.
Still up for consideration in the future are vehicles for community services, which will be decided upon at a later time.