Village of Saugerties officials mull replacing old DPW trucks as repair costs surge

Saugerties Village DPW Superintendent Rich Forbes said the municipality’s fleet of six-wheel dump trucks are starting to “nickel and dime” his department and need to be replaced.

He said his department has a real need to upgrade its fleet of trucks, but that it doesn’t need to be done all at once and the new trucks could be phased into the fleet.

“Our old trucks are starting to get up there in years and are starting to cost a lot to run,” Forbes said. “Our trucks have a hard life, plowing snow and hauling blacktop.”

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He pointed to a recent replacement of a turbocharger on one of the older trucks that cost the village $3,200 and a frame repair to one of the trucks that also cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

When questioned by Village Trustee Vincent Buono about the village’s most recent truck purchase a few years back, Forbes said it was a used and not a new truck and it has started to have more problems

Trustee Terry Parisian suggested that perhaps a new truck could be purchased each year to replace the old trucks. Mayor Bill Murphy also suggested officials could budget for one truck a year.

Parisian suggested the village consider the life of any future trucks to be ten years after which it could be sold.

Forbes said DPW officials have taken the Village’s street sweeper, which recently caught fire, to an equipment dealer in Sawkill for assessment of the damage to the machine. Officials have not yet determined what caused the fire to break out, and he’s hoping the mechanics can shed light on what sparked the fire.

Trustees admitted the sweeper has been nothing but trouble and Buono even questioned if there was a lemon law for these sorts of vehicles.

Forbes said unfortunately the sweeper is now out of warranty and the cost of the repairs will fall on the Village. On the bright side, he noted that fire came just as his crews were preparing to put the sweeper away for the season.

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