Town spent almost $29,000 on an off-road vehicle they never use

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The $28,000 UTV has not been used since the town purchased it.
The back of the $28,000 UTV

FISHKILL – Town Supervisor Ozzy Albra authorized the purchase of a Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) for the police department in 2020.  The town spent more than $28,000 on the vehicle that has not been used since it arrived in the town in March of 2021.

 

Albra said that the purchase was justified because Scenic Hudson is planning a $40 million park expansion for the Hudson River Fjord Trail that will include trails on Mount Beacon.  According to Albra’s secretary, Greg Totino, “The supervisor decided to be proactive and prepared for emergency response situations when these projects are completed.”

 

The trail project, according to Police Chief Keith Dworkin, covers land that is under the jurisdiction of the State Park Police, not the Town of Fishkill.  The Park Police have their own off-road emergency vehicles that are designed for rescue operations, according to a member of the state agency.

Work on the proposed trails is not slated to begin until 2022 and will continue through 2027.

 

“I was not interested in acquiring a UTV nor was I involved in the research or purchasing of the vehicle,” Chief Dworkin said when he was told that Albra referenced Dworkin’s name on the purchase order.  The chief said that he was advised to sign the document by Police Commissioner Dennis Zack.  Commissioner Zack’s name and signature appear on both the purchase order and Zack signed for the UTV on the day it was delivered.

 

The money came from within the police department’s “Equipment” budget line from the spending plan approved by the previous town board. Albra said that, because the money was allocated, the town board was not required to approve the purchase.

 

Dworkin noted that the town does not have a written policy in place for the use of the vehicle and no training guidelines were established prior to Zack accepting delivery of the UTV.

To date the UTV has not been used for emergency purposes and the police department does not have a trailer to tow it.  According to sources familiar with the UTV, the only option currently available to move the UTV is with a flatbed tow truck.