File photo

File photo

Smith County, Texas, plans to centralize its fleet under one administrator and hire a third-party contractor to handle management. County Judge Nathaniel Moran said at a recent commissioners meeting that he has already spoken to several candidates for fleet administrator and several contractors, and noted that the decision is not black and white.

"At some level, we are definitely going to have to have a combination of both, it's not an either-or," Moran said at a recent commissioners meeting. "Utilizing an outside management company can provide some cost savings and efficiencies through their process, through contracts they have with national companies, for purchasing of vehicles and acquisition of vehicles, and for getting financing in the manner that we need. But, more importantly, we also need somebody in house that can serve as that cog for our wheel."

Currently, 28 county officials are tasked with managing their own vehicles. Under its new plan, the county will centralize fleet operations under one administrator who will serve as the point of contact for a third-party provider.

At the meeting, Moran noted that third-party candidates offer a wide variety of services — from consulting alone to full fleet management. Only one candidate mentioned offered full management services for all of the vehicles and equipment in the county fleet.

County commissioners agreed with the proposal to outsource and agreed that top candidates for the fleet administrator position and fleet management providers should attend a future commissioners' meeting — the next step toward hiring.

The county aims to lower the average age of the fleet — 11 years for non-law enforcement vehicles — and reduce maintenance costs through this decision, reports KLTV.