Council approves new city vehicles

by Rebecca Bennett

Hyattsville’s three new electric cars look like “glorified golf carts,” said Code Compliance Inspector David Hill. Photo courtesey Amanda Eisenberg.

At its July 21 meeting, the Hyattsville City Council approved funding for several different types of city vehicles.

Parking compliance vehicle

The Council approved the purchase of a 2014 Polaris Neighborhood Electric Vehicle for a total purchase price of $14,800. The existing vehicle was totaled in an accident on May 28, according to Jim Chandler, Assistant City Administrator and Director of Community & Economic Development.

The City only had to allocate $787 from fiscal year 2015.  The rest came from the Local Government Insurance Trust.

Three Polaris electric vehicles debuted on Hyattsville roads in November as the result of a Maryland Smart Energy Community Grant.

Code compliance vehicle replacement

The Council authorized the purchase of a 2013 Ford C- Max for a total purchase price not to exceed $21,760.

According to Chandler in a memo the the Mayor and City Council, this hybrid vehicle will replace an old pickup to comply with the City’s sustainability policy.  He said a remaining balance on a Maryland Energy Administration grant can be added to the $15,000  budgeted for this FY 2015 replacement.  Chandler wrote that the MEA extended the deadline for funds usage until August 2014, so the City could secure this vehicle.

The City solicited cost proposals for this replacement, according to Chandler, and the top two were the 2013 used model from Ambler, Pennsylvania, and a new model from Springfield, Virginia.  Should the used car not be available, the City would attempt to purchase the new model.

Council member Edouard Haba was the only council member to vote against the motion to attempt to purchase the used Ford C-Max.  He earlier stated he felt the newer car should have been the preference, because there was not a huge difference in price.

Department of Public Works vehicles

The Council authorized the Department of Public Works to purchase two dump trucks and one maintenance vehicle not to exceed a total price of $360,000, the funding of which was approved in the FY2015 Capital Improvements Projects Budget.  In a memo from Lesley Riddle, Director of Public Works for the City of Hyattsville, the department assessed the current fleet of vehicles and found most of them should be replaced, though not all in a single budget year.

According to Riddle:

Currently we have four dump trucks which are used for leaf removal, snow removal and heavy hauling. All of these vehicles are at least 12 years or older and require multiple repairs, particularly during snow removal operations. Four of our smaller trucks are over 10 years old and also require consistent repairs. The smaller trucks are used daily for parks, street, and solid waste operations.

Police department vehicles

The Council authorized the Hyattsville Police Department to purchase four 2015 Ford Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles at a total cost of $102,668 and to outfit the vehicles with needed equipment at a total cost of $62,096.

According to Douglas Holland, Chief of Police, the new vehicles will replace four older, high maintenance vehicles, and will double the police department’s ability to operate in extreme inclement weather.  According to city documents, the funding for these vehicles was approved in the FY2015 Capital Expenditures Budget.

Mayor Marc Tartaro requested the new police vehicles include the Hyattsville brand logo “A world within walking distance.”

According to Chandler, the City of Hyattsville recently received a Maryland Energy Administration grant fro $45,000 to install anti-idling devices on several police vehicles.   These devices will allow the computers to still function while the engines are off.

You can view the entire meeting on the City of Hyattsville website.