The City of White Plains made history last week when it became the first municipality in the state to purchase an all-electric powered garbage truck.
At the Sept. 3 Common Council meeting, Councilman Justin Brasch said, “I always like to point out to everybody when the city is doing a great job of protecting the environment and saving money. We are going to be the first city in New York State to have an all-electric garbage truck.”
The state will be giving $185,000 toward the purchase of the truck.
“This is a continuation of the city’s efforts with regard to environmental sustainability,” Councilwoman Nadine Hunt-Robinson said. The garbage truck will be the city government’s 10th electric vehicle, she noted.
Mayor Tom Roach said the electric vehicle is expected to be provided to the city by the end of 2020.
Retired firefighters’ health insurance
During the Citizens to be Heard portion of last week’s meeting the discussion of potentially changing the city’s policy of requiring retired firefighters to contribute a portion of their health insurance premiums continued.
Ed Lobermann, a retired White Plains deputy fire chief who is a trustee of the White Plains Retired Uniformed Fire Fighters Association told the Common Council he was representing more than 100 retired firefighters. The issue was in litigation for more than eight years but the organization withdrew the suit “in anticipation of your discussing this issue with us. I want to thank you for the meetings and discussions we’ve had with you during the past year addressing this issue,” he said.
“My concentration this past year was to present to you in a factual manner, the justification for our position that our benefit should be fully restored as you have restored the paid in full health insurance premium in retirement for the active firefighters,” Lobermann said. “We are simply asking that you treat us older retired firefighters similarly. As a result of those meetings I believe that the majority of the Council is sympathetic to our position but is concerned as to the cost factor to the city.”
Lobermann said during the discussions Council members have asked him to submit plans that would not be costly to the city. Chief of Staff John Callahan provided him with data so he could provide those proposals to the city, Lobermann said. He has proposals he wants to provide to the city and discuss them with Council members.
Roach asked Lobermann to call his office to set up a meeting.