The City of Boynton Beach, Fla., commission approved the replacement of 50 vehicles for approximately $3.2 million after two years of delaying vehicle replacements.

According to Mario Guzman, CAFM, fleet administrator, two years ago, the economic crash led to a decrease in revenue coming in from property taxes. Customer departments were still paying for vehicles to replenish the replacement fund, but the City used the fund to cover the general fund. “By doing that, it saved numerous programs,” Guzman said. “That was a top priority.”

Guzman said some of the vehicles that most needed replacement were patrol cars and solid waste trucks, both of which are usually on a five-year replacement cycle. For these heavy-use units, extending them to seven years, approaching eight for the solid waste trucks, led to significant vehicle downtime.

“While the [police] vehicles were getting maintained, there were some nights where there were two officers per vehicle,” he said. For solid waste, Guzman explained that downtime was affecting trash pickup schedules. If “we can’t pick up the garbage, you know you’re going to get [residents] upset.”

Guzman is in the process of sending purchase orders to vendors. Units being replaced include fire rescue units, patrol cars, fire rescue units, and a recreation unit. Guzman expects vehicles to trickle in between this month and December. The vehicles were all purchased via Florida Sheriff’s Association contracts, State of Florida contracts, and a neighboring city’s contract that allowed piggybacking.

The City of Boynton Beach’s fleet consists of approximately 700 vehicles.

By Thi Dao