Salt Lake City has increased its fleet fund by $1.75 million to $5.75 million for the 2016 fiscal year to pay off debt from earlier purchases and fund new vehicles, including beefing up its zero-emission vehicle fleet and electric-charging infrastructure.
In mid-June, Salt Lake City's elected leaders approved a budget that included a 3.4% increase for the Fleet Division's expense budget and revenue budget. The city has approved an additional $1 million, because $3.6 million of a proposed $4.75 million was earmarked for debt service payments, according to city records.
The city is adding seven new battery-electric vehicles to bring the total number of clean cars and trucks to 224, according to a city release. The city plans to expand charging infrastructure for electric vehicles with a grant from the Utah Division of Air Quality.
Other projects to reduce overall emissions include incorporating tailored vehicle purchasing guidelines, operational best practices, and ways to reduce emissions from other types of equipment such as two-stroke engines.
"Our program to carefully assess emissions and local air pollutant impacts, as part of the cost-to-own analysis for fleet purchases, is paying dividends," said Mayor Ralph Becker. "We weigh these factors to produce outcomes that mitigate climate and air quality impacts and save taxpayer resources."
The fleet division gained several other increases in the 2015-16 fiscal-year budget. The expense budget increases by nearly $700,000 for anticipated maintenance costs for General Fund fleet vehicles. The council has also approved funding for an additional full-time employee.
The Fleet Division manages the city's 1,246 light-duty vehicles, 251 heavy vehicles, and 2,760 pieces of equipment. The city uses an internal service fund to provide repair, preventative maintenance and fueling services.