Syracuse Common Councilors Explore Consolidating Vehicle Repair, Maintenance

Aug 12, 2013

The Syracuse Common Council is contemplating merging city vehicle maintenance and repairs under one roof. Councilors met with city department heads Monday morning.

Councilors Jake Barrett, Helen Hudson, and President Van Robinson listen to Deputy Syracuse Fire Chief David Reeves.
Credit Maria Catanzarite, WAER News

With more than one-thousand City-owned vehicles on the streets, Council Committee members think one building will be enough to service all five departments. Councilor Helen Hudson says cutting costs is the main reason behind the proposal.

“I think, for me, it was when you’re seeing different departments coming  before the council, asking for one-point-five for this garage and 900-thousand for a paint booth. It gets costly after a while.”

But saving money isn’t the bottom line for Water Department Commissioner Debbie Somers. She says having specialized mechanics can be equally efficient.

“If you centralize it, and I’m sure we could make it work, but at this point in time, they don’t know the needs of my department because they are not right there. With my mechanics working so closely with my crews, they know what my needs are.”

But Councilor Hudson believes building a central facility would make good use of some of the 13-hundred vacant homes and properties in Syracuse. She says the Council will not vote on the measure until city engineers do a study to determine the cost of construction.