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Mayor, Rome PD Role Out Two 4-Wheel, All Electric Vehicles

Rome, NY (WIBX) - The Mayor of Rome, flanked by members of the City’s Police Department, rolled out two new additions to the team. Meet the new four wheel drive, all electric Polaris EV LSV–a vehicle that promises to reduce carbon emissions, while still working to keep the area safe.

Mayor James F. Brown says the vehicles, which resemble golf carts, will drive down the high cost of energy for the police department. “Municipalities have got to start looking at the future and what we’re going to do to drive down the cost of doing business, and part of driving down the cost in the future, is to start to take a look at alternative ways to utilize our vehicles.” Mayor Brown said.

Brown said the move to purchase the two vehicles is “monumental” and added that he gave the directive to look for ways to reduce energy cost for the police department, and the Polaris is one way the city will cut emissions and reduce the cost of energy. He said, “As you know, we’re on the road 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, burning up gasoline, so today we have two vehicles that we’re going to test to see if we can integrate these into our system, especially on the inside district, to cut down on energy consumption.”

Officials say if the Polaris is successful, the department will work with members of the Common Council to purchase two more. The cost for each basic model vehicle ranges between $14,000 and $15,000, before any additional police ad-ons, such as sirens and other safety features are incorporated into the overall cost. Brown says the move is in line with his administration’s vision for a more environmentally friendlier city.

The Polaris qualifies for a U.S. federal tax credit–if purchased before December 31, 2011, the government will pick up 10-percent of the cost. The Polaris can go up to 35 mph, will have sirens and other police equipment installed and be authorized to make safety stops anywhere it operates. Officials say the all electric vehicle is low maintenance, can drive at least 50 miles or 8-hours before needing a charge. The life expectancy is estimated at 5 years and they will have traditional police markings on them as well.

Common Council President, John Mazzaferro says the council will be holding a special session with the city’s Planning Department this Wednesday, (5/25) to discuss the role of the all electric Polaris. He says members will discuss the advantages and disadvantages for the city. Rome Mayor added that the city received a grant for the charging stations that will be needed in the future, and said this issue will also be discussed during the meeting. Brown said, “Those charging stations will be open to the general public and be in high volume areas.”

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