Mt. Vernon DPW commissioner warns fuel shortage could lead to operational shutdown citywide
The Mount Vernon public works commissioner tells News 12 that the city's fuel shortage has become critical enough to potentially shut down operations in the city.
Commissioner Damani Bush says the city is currently rationing gas by limiting vehicles to only 5 gallons per fill.
Bush believes there are only a few days remaining before the problem becomes worse, saying in part, “By Tuesday, our whole entire operation will be shut down citywide.”
The shutdown could mean all essential city agency vehicles including police and fire, as well as garbage pick-up, could be at a stand-still.
“Once that happens, we’ll be crippled,” says Bush.
The fuel shortage issue isn’t something new for the city. However, the commissioner says this time is due to lack of payment.
Bush alleges companies refuse to work with the city until they are paid in full.
Outstanding bills provided by the city indicate three fuel companies are owed more than $200,000, with some invoices dating back to 2017.
News 12’s Ty Milburn visited the finance office responsible for issuing the checks but realized the office building closed earlier than usual. The city’s comptroller, Deborah Reynolds, could not be reached but a note on the door indicates the closure was due to cleaning.
Resident Stanley Brown tells News 12 there is no excuse.
“Just get it done,” says Brown. “They have enough finances to do it.”