Photo courtesy of City of New Britain

Photo courtesy of City of New Britain

The City of New Britain, Conn., has reduced its fleet by 7.8% and its fuel costs by 26%, according to its annual fleet report issued by the Department of Public Works. The 7.8% fleet reduction is higher than Mayor Erin Stewart’s 5% fleet reduction goal, set in February 2016.

“Our city’s fleet is one of our costliest assets that we have to manage,” said Mayor Stewart in a release. “Ensuring that we have the proper management is critical to making sure taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently. Maximizing fuel efficiency, minimizing fuel consumption, maximizing vehicle and equipment life cycles, and reducing the overall size of the fleet add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings each year.”

The city fleet has been reduced to 354 vehicles and 108 pieces of large equipment. This count includes all but Fire Department vehicles. The greatest fleet reductions came from Police, the Public Works Field Services Division, and Public Works Utilities Divison.

The City typically uses around $700,000 worth of fuel every year, but low fuel prices, along with conservation measures such as eliminating unnecessary vehicle idling, led to a 26% reduction, or $184,000 less, in fuel costs as compared to usage in the previous fiscal year.

The planned lifecycle of most city vehicles has been expanded by several years; front-line police vehicles are typically replaced every four to six years, while utility trucks and passenger vehicles typically are planned to be replaced every 12-15 years, up from 10-12 years in last year’s fleet report. In 2016, 38 municipal vehicles were sold through

Sam Plumley, who was promoted to the city’s fleet manager in January 2016, helped to produce to the report. The city has been operating without a fleet manager since 2007. The division is operating at full staffing levels for the first time in years — allowing for the proper maintenance and management of the vehicles and equipment.