Niles hopes to get snow equipment by late Jan.

By Jordan Cohen


Three trucks the city needs for snow and ice removal should arrive by late January after action by council in a special meeting.

Council unanimously approved legislation Friday authorizing a $405,000 lease-purchase agreement after learning from Safety Service Director James DePasquale the trucks might not be available until late winter if there are further delays.

Council had not planned for the legislation’s third and final reading until Nov. 2, leading Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia to call Friday’s special meeting.

“That would have really delayed things,” DePasquale said. “We need those trucks as soon as possible.”

The director said earlier this month the city has only four of six trucks for plowing and salting “100 miles of pavement.” DePasquale said the other two are unsafe to drive due to rotting frames and beds.

The agreement is considered a debt obligation and must be reviewed by the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission because the city is in fiscal emergency. The commission meets Monday.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a problem,” Scarnecchia said. “The fiscal supervisors have already approved it.” The two state-appointed auditors review the status of the city’s budget and report to the commission.

DePasquale said he will move forward with the agreement as soon as the fiscal panel gives the green light.

The city will make annual payments of $85,000 for five years to Kinstle Sterling Western Star Truck Center of Wapakoneta, the low bidder. After that, Niles can either keep the vehicles or lease new ones, DePasquale said.

The mayor and director do not expect any issues with financing because the annual payments are made by the street department, which generates its own revenue. DePasquale said no general-fund money will be used. It was a general-fund deficit that led to the fiscal emergency declaration two years ago.

DePasquale said he will ask Western Star for an expedited delivery. “I’ll be pushing for something earlier than the end of January,” he said. “I would have liked it before that, but it is what it is.”