Town officials approved a $1.1 million bond anticipation note to purchase new highway equipment at their regular Town Board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
According to town officials, the 15-year bond will pay for two snowplow-sander trucks, a loader, a brush truck, a dump truck, a backhoe and five sander units.
Many of the vehicles in our fleet are 15 to 20 years old, and we haven't made purchases of highway equipment for many years, said Town Supervisor Steven Tommasone. "Those old vehicles are simply breaking down more frequently, getting too costly to repair. It's a law of diminishing returns."
Tommasone also said the town was able to roll the new bond into an existing bond to secure an interest rate of approximately 4 percent. He said the decision was made out of necessity.
Tommasone voted with the three other board members in attendance to approve the funding. The board's lone Democrat, John Silva, was absent.
Councilman John Mertz echoed Tommasone's sentiments.
"We try to run this town on a shoestring, but the realities are we live in the Northeast and we need to take care of our roads," said Mertz.
Rotterdam police will also be purchasing new vehicles.
The board authorized the purchase of three patrol cars to be paid from the town's unappropriated surplus fund balance in an amount not to exceed $95,000.
Tommasone said the department would purchase three marked patrol vehicles " two sedans and one SUV-type vehicle.
Mertz had been a proponent of the plan to add only patrol cars to the fleet.
"We're pleased to provide the funding for new cars, especially patrol cars," said Mertz. "We always put public safety first."
According to Tommasone, all of the cars coming out of the police department's fleet have more than 100,000 miles on them.
"These cars coming out of the fleet don't just die," said Tommasone. "They may go to the highway department or the Department of Public Works if there is a chance for someone to upgrade to a better car."