Government Fleet Top News

Increased Gas Prices Draining Municipal Budgets

June 1, 2004

DAYTONA BEACH, FL -- Florida public safety officials also are struggling to find ways to stay within fuel budgets, according to the Daytona Beach News Journal.Southwest Volusia Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said this fiscal year the agency estimated it would spend almost $977,000 for fuel. However, with seven months (59 percent) of the year gone, it has spent 65 percent of the allocation. New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Finance Director Bill Poling said the Police Department budgeted $214,000 for fuel and oil this year. While that is the same figure as last year, the agency spent only $161,000 in fiscal 2002-03. So far this year, it is on budget, spending about $99,000 for gas between October through April, Poling said. Edgewater, Fla., Finance Director John Williams said in fiscal 2003 the Police Department budgeted $37,000 for fuel and spent $42,340. This year they estimated that amount would drop to $30,231, but with just over half the year gone, it has spent about $18,700.Edgewater Police Chief Mike Ignasiak, who is also keeping a close eye on costs, said the department does not want to park their cars. He said the only alternative is to limit the number of driving hours but they do not want to do that because it would affect their preventative patrols. Davidson said the price hikes will not affect daily operations, but if they go over budget they will have to find the money elsewhere, such as delaying equipment purchases. He also said continued increases in fuel prices could affect whether deputies use their cars during off-duty hours. Under the department's fleet plan, deputies take their cars home from work and can use them to perform off-duty errands.

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