Government Fleet Top News

Texas City Set to Reduce Size of Municipal Fleet

December 15, 2004

PARIS, TEXAS — The city of Paris announced on December 9 that its fleet of vehicles could experience a significant reduction in the coming weeks.Larry Shaw, consultant for the city, said he and other department heads are looking at the number of older and higher maintenance vehicles and putting them up for auction sometime in January. The list is still being compiled, but Shaw said he believes the city has more vehicles than it needs and some that are too old to continue being repaired or insured by the city of Paris.“What we´ve done is taken a very thorough inventory of everything we have out there in terms of vehicles and pieces of equipment,” he said. “We´ve determined we don´t have to have the numbers we have out there.”Shaw said the criteria for putting a vehicle on the auction block includes the frequency of maintenance of the vehicle needs and the cost of insurance and maintenance to the city. “It´s something that´s done routinely in our business,” Shaw said. According to resolutions compiled by the City Clerk´s office, the city has held auctions at least once a year, but the upcoming auction would have the highest number of city vehicles of the past five years. City Engineer and Interim Public Works Director Shawn Napier said it´s been difficult on departments to keep vehicles from getting too old because the city needs a detailed vehicle replacement program.Shaw said the inventory is an indicator that the city is doing everything it can to reduce unnecessary spending. “Just like the city has been trying to find the right size for our staffing levels, we´re trying to apply the same approach to vehicles,” he said. “I just know that´s an area that can be overlooked if it´s not thought about.”Shaw also said the bulk of the vehicles on the auction list are probably from the public works and the police department. Most of those from the public works department include several pickup trucks and a few dump trucks. “We´ve got more dump trucks than we need,” Shaw explained. “So we´re identifying those that are high maintenance, high mileage and if we´ve put a new engine in them.”Police Chief Karl Louis said there are at least 10 police vehicles the city is considering removing from the fleet, which would reduce the number to approximately 40 vehicles. Louis noted the reduced fleet wouldn´t be a problem for his staff because the older vehicles pose hazards for the department. “We´ll be glad to get things off of our parking lot,” Louis said. He also said the number of vehicles to be auctioned is larger than normal. “We usually don´t have quite that many,” Louis said. “Usually, we sell six to eight. This will be a few more than normal.”Shaw also noted two vehicles were assigned to the city manager´s office, which will be included in the auction list. “It looks like they were using those as a motor pool car,” he said. “But they were high mileage cars that are 10-12 years old that cost a lot to maintain, keep and insure.” Shaw said keeping these vehicles in check is an easy way for a city to save money in the long run. “This isn´t rocket science, it´s just being practical,” he added.

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