Lawmakers Hear Details About Investment Plan

Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, discussing the possible $12.9 million bond project to purchase new vehicles, equipment and to improve efficiencies throughout city departments during the Jamestown City Council work session meeting Monday. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

A capital investment plan of $12.9 million might be undertaken by city officials.

On Monday, the Jamestown City Council heard details about the plan to purchase new vehicles, equipment and to improve efficiencies throughout city departments during its work session meeting.

Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said the goal of the plan is to save money, generate revenues and to improve efficiencies to save funds. He said several city departments are involved in the plan, including the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities. The overall plan has the city bonding for $9.4 million and the BPU, if its board approves, borrowing for $3.5 million.

Teresi said if both the city and BPU “piggyback” on the bond, both entities can share the cost for the borrowing process. Joseph Bellitto, city comptroller, said the bonding process can cost up to $150,000.

Teresi said the capital investment plan is meant to be a proactive way to replace vehicles and equipment instead of waiting for emergency situations to occur, which leads city officials either paying for repairs or purchasing new products.

Each one of the seven segments of the capital investment plan has a cost associated with it, but also a projected annual savings.

The BPU part of the project would include spending $1.5 million for sanitary sewer line replacement/slip lining; $500,000 for wastewater treatment plant upgrades; and $1.5 million for water main replacement and improvements. The estimated annuals savings for each BPU project is between $51,000 to $56,500 per year.

The city capital investment plan would include $2 million for energy structural improvements to city facilities; $300,000 for storm water management improvement program; $5.9 million for the implementation of the Mercury Associates plan to consolidate the city’s vehicle fleet and equipment, which would include the construction of a central maintenance facility; and $1.2 million for fire department equipment.

Patrick Monaghan, city fleet manager, said city officials received a $58,000 grant from the state Financial Restructuring Board to finance a study of how to enhance the city’s fleet of vehicles and equipment. He said the study included having a centralized maintenance facility. He said currently some pieces of city equipment are stored outside because of a lack of space, which impacts the lifespan of the equipment. Lehman said the plans for the new 20,000-square-foot facility would include 33% more storage space.

The plan also calls for the city to purchase 16 new pieces of equipment that are badly in need of replacement. Teresi said the state Financial Restructuring Board likes what city officials have done about consolidating its fleet of vehicles and equipment. He said state officials have proposed to proved $1 million in funding for the purchasing of new equipment and the construction of the new centralized maintenance facility. The Mercury Associates plan to consolidate the city’s vehicle fleet and equipment is projected to have a annual savings of $250,000.

The capital improvement plan also calls for the purchasing of two new fire trucks and refurbishing one of its current vehicles. Sam Salemme, city deputy fire chief, said the newest fire truck the city owns was purchased in 2013, which is followed by one being bought in 2000, the next in 1999, another in 1994 and the oldest one in 1989. He said of the fire trucks, three are considered front line and two are reserves. He added all three of the front line trucks have severe corrosion issues.

“It’s a struggle to keep them on the road,” he said.

The plan is to purchase two new trucks at the cost of $470,000 and to refurbish the newest truck at an estimate of $300,000. The fire department equipment plan is project to have an annual savings of $20,000.

The energy/structural improvements of city facilities has an annual projected savings of 160,000. Lehman said this part of the project includes making improvements to the city Municipal Building, which is almost 50 years old. Also this part of the project includes several lighting efficiency improvements to city facilities.

Teresi said if the BPU agrees to be a part of the capital investment plan, the council could be voting on a resolution as early as this months voting session Sept. 30.