Government Fleet Top News

Kindberg Would Like to Lower County’s Vehicle Count

May 7, 2008

MAYVILLE, NY– The vehicle pool for Chautauqua County government has dropped slightly in the last five years, going from 211 to 207. But even though the number of county vehicles has decreased, Maria Kindberg, D–Jamestown and majority leader, said more can still be done to lower the vehicle count, according to the Jamestown Post Journal.

The county’s policy states it is only supposed to purchase and maintain vehicles if it is cheaper than paying out mileage reimbursement for employees to use their own wheels, or if it is absolutely essential for an employee to have a vehicle for their job duties.

Darin Schulz, county finance director, said county officials use a ‘‘break-even’’ spreadsheet analysis to determine whether a car will be purchased or mileage will be paid. He said the county has criteria in determining what types of county vehicles are purchased depending on who will use the vehicle and what purpose it will serve, according to the Jamestown Post Journal.

Schulz said the county purchases vehicles by taking out state contracts and by also bidding them out to the private sector to see if there is a better deal available. He said the county usually purchases its cars in one big allotment. The county also doesn’t lease cars, all light-duty county cars are purchased.

Outside of a few county officials, employees don’t take home county vehicles. Schulz said county employees that take vehicles home have to consider it part of their salary compensation and have to pay taxes.

The county also owns two hybrid Honda Civic vehicles, which are also the only two non-American motor company vehicles the county owns. Kindberg said she hopes the county continues to investigate alternative-fuel vehicles and hybrid cars to see if they are a more proper investment.

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