Updated: Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012, 6:46 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012, 6:37 PM EST
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Odds are we will not be seeing as mild a winter as we did last year but the city is ready, unveiling the improvements to the fleet that they have made with this year's $1.1 million budget.
Mayor Bryon Brown acknowledged that snow was not something being much talked about or thought about this year until this past week, when the area really saw its first significant snowfall.
However, the mayor assured, "We are ready in the City of Buffalo for whatever Mother Nature might throw at us."
Eight new trucks were added to the city's snow fleet, bringing the total to 72 with 67 drivers on staff. The new trucks came from a portion of the budget allocated to buy different trucks that add more versatility to the fleet, enabling snow removal efforts to ger into other areas of the city with more ease.
"The Kumatsu is the high lift here you see with the plow on it. We have learned that one of the most cost effective and efficient vehicles for plowing snow is the high lift. It's very flexible and it can get into spaces that a regular tandem plow can't," explained Commissioner of Public Works Steve Stepniak.
The city has also been able to save on salt with a holdover of 11,000 tons from last year. Mayor Brown told a story that during one of these inspections several administrations ago, the hood of a truck was lifted and the engine was missing. He noted that won't happen with Director of Fleet Maintenance Tom Laudico.
"I want to recognize Tom for his great efforts in keeping this machinery well operating, running well, and in good repair," said Mayor Brown.
Stepniak added that drivers have said they have never seen the equipment as up-to-date and in good working order as it is this year. The commissioner attributed that to budgeting, having a good buying strategy every year, and an effective rotation with trucks.