FT. WAYNE, IN – More than four months after it was first proposed, a policy restricting the use of county-owned vehicles is expected to be approved on Dec. 28 by the Allen County Commissioners, according to the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel newspaper on December 27. Despite minor changes, the policy’s key provision remains the same: If a take-home vehicle isn’t driven at least 6,000 miles a year, it’s probably not needed. The figure is important, because a survey last summer discovered as many as 20 of the county’s 245 take-home vehicles are driven on official business less than 6,000 miles annually. The 6,000-mile limit will not apply to on-call employees driving specially equipped vehicles, public-safety workers, or employees who receive a vehicle as part of a compensation package. The policy took effect January 1. Bruce Little, purchasing director, said he won’t know whether the county will be able to reduce its take-home fleet next year until department officials submit mileage figures on each vehicle. Employees living outside Allen County will be required to leave their vehicle in a “secure location” within Allen County at the end of their shift. Employees also will have to keep track of the miles they drive to and from work, and this use of public vehicles for commuting purposes is considered a taxable benefit worth $3 a day. Elected officials can take mileage reimbursement instead of a vehicle, but will not be paid for more than 6,000 miles a year. On December 29 the commissioners were expected to set the 2005 reimbursement rate at about 38 cents per mile. If individual employees lose take-home cars because of the new policy, some of the cars could be placed in a pool for general use. Commissioner Ed Rousseau said the county is looking for a central location for its pool fleet.