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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Free Army helicopter ends up costing Newark's police $2 million, records show

Sometimes free things are too good to be true.

A 42-year-old Vietnam-era OH-58A Bell Kiowa helicopter, given to Newark for free from the U.S. Army in 2005 as part of a military surplus program, has cost the city more than $2 million to refurbish, maintain and operate, according to documents obtained by NJ Advance Media.

An examination of the sky-high bill shows that the Newark City Council has approved $1.13 million in maintenance contracts the last five years alone, including a $27,412 invoice to strip, apply corrosion coating, prime and paint the aircraft and the purchase of new rotor blades that cost $143,386.

The helicopter also has been equipped with a night vision system that allows pilots to see in the dark and a receiver to track stolen cars, despite the city’s budget problems which, most notably, forced then-Mayor Cory Booker to lay off 167 cops in 2010.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big toys cost more...wait 'til they git a fahrboat! Sure they can find a way to 'bury it in the budget.