By ALISSA SCOTT
The Amsterdam Common Council is considering adding four more leased cars to its police department fleet under the department's 2014-15 budget.
"We've got to keep up on this," 3rd Ward Alderman Ronald J. Barone Sr. said Tuesday night. "I don't want to always be catching up and running into problems like this."
Representatives of the Amsterdam Police Department visited the Common Council Tuesday night to discuss their budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
It totals $3.1 million and the accompanying public safety budget is $245,000.
"We have the ability, if you want, to lease four more," City Controller Matthew Agresta said. "You wouldn't have to pay for them until next year."
Police Chief Gregory Culick said with the new cars, they'll be able to increase police presence and respond to emergency situations faster.
Though they leased four new cars earlier this year, they also had to scrap another four that were too run down to function properly.
"We kind of didn't come ahead at all," Culick said. "We still have some older ones."
This budget includes a $43,000 payment for the lease program that purchased the four new cars this year. The department was able to defer payments until the new budget year.
After five years of the $43,000 payment, the city will purchase the cars for $1.
Personnel services -- which includes 39 officers, detectives and lieutenants up to and include Culick -- amounts to $2.4 million, which is slightly higher than last year.
A part-time cleaner for the courtroom has been added at $7,800, but Culick said it's completely reimbursable by the state. This year, the state reimbursed the city $2,800 for new carpet in the courtroom, Agresta said.
The air handlers in the public safety building are all original and need to be replaced; the building was constructed in 1973.
"They're big bucks," Deputy Chief Victor Hugo said.
Culick said 10 need to be replaced and just one will run the city $45,000.
This year, the department also needs to redo a lot of the city's road striping. Culick said city engineer Richard Miller told him there are several roads that need to be striped.
That line item has increased from the $12,000 budgeted last year to $25,000 this year.
Culick said striping is just one of the "random" items that are part of the police department's budget, like street signs, street lights and the bingo inspector's $1,000 salary.