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Binghamton police propose vehicle purchase

Binghamton Police Vehicles WEB

Update: Binghamton City Council approved the purchase Wednesday evening. Councilwoman Aviva Friedman and Councilwoman Angela Riley opposed the measure, which passed five to two.

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — City of Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski is requesting just over half a million dollars to purchase new vehicles for the department.

Zikuski wants City Council to approve an expedited request to purchase 10 new vehicles, mostly marked cars, using unrestricted funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) federal stimulus package.

The police chief told City Council Monday that many vehicles he’s looking to replace have well over 100,000 miles in addition to severe wear and tear.

"Whenever the money becomes available, we try to get the money and purchase cars as we can get the funds,” Zikuski said.

Zikuski is requesting City Council approve the measure on an expedited basis, meaning it skips the two-week waiting period most legislation goes through before a vote. He said the department missed the deadline to purchase vehicles through the state, but an exception was being granted as long as the city could approve the purchase quickly.

City Council will take up the legislation Wednesday.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.