Baltimore officials are set to approve spending nearly $30 million to replace 338 aging vehicles, including firetrucks and police cruisers.
"When you have police cars and fire and EMS vehicles that are out of service, it makes it difficult to have the amount of vehicles on the street that you need," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. "My goal was to figure out, what can we do to tackle this issue?"
Bob Cenname, the city's deputy budget director, said replacing the vehicles will result in millions in savings due to lower repair and fuel costs.
Under the deal, the Fire Department will purchase two new trucks, four new "pumpers" and eight new medic units per year, said Kevin Harris, the mayor's spokesman. The Police Department is expected to get 77 vehicles, including some new Chevrolet Caprices to replace some of its aging patrol cars. Some other city vehicles also will be replaced.
"Our fleet is very, very old. The age of some of our vehicles is eight to 12 years old," Cenname said.
"The cost of repair and maintenance on those vehicles was really, really high," he said. "The vehicles were inefficient in terms of fuel usage."
The Board of Estimates is expected to approve the spending Wednesday. The city will borrow the money from one of the two firms that have won the right to bid on such lending, GE Capital Public Finance Inc. and Grant Capital Management Inc .
The lowest-cost bid will be selected, Harris said.