MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ - A new inventory of Monmouth County vehicles reveals the county has 1,049 cars, trucks, and buses, making it the largest county vehicle fleet in the state, according to the Asbury Park Press. The fleet has increased by 188 vehicles since its last inventory report five months ago. Based on the updated inventory, current to Sept. 16, Monmouth operates 150 more vehicles than Bergen County, the state's most populous county, and 550 more vehicles than Burlington, the state's largest county in square mileage. The two other counties in the state that have a larger population than Monmouth also operate a smaller fleet of cars, trucks, and buses. Essex County maintains 535 vehicles, and Middlesex operates 664, according to county officials there. Ocean County, which is larger in size but has a smaller population than Monmouth, operates a fleet of 742 vehicles, according to county records. Monmouth County Spokesman William K. Heine said the majority of the increase in the fleet size over the previous inventory reported in April is not the result of new-vehicle purchases, but rather is caused by inaccuracies in the earlier count. That April inventory, supplied to the Asbury Park Press by the office of county administrator Louis Paparozzi, put the total county fleet — all cars, trucks and buses — at 861 vehicles. In response to an Asbury Park Press inquiry seeking an updated county vehicle inventory in Septem-ber, the county reported that its total fleet size is 1,049 — an increase of 188 vehicles. A comparison of the April and September inventories also indicates that the county has purchased new vehicles during the summer. The news that Monmouth County has more vehicles in its fleet than previously reported comes at a time when county officials are reviewing the vehicle operation in an attempt to reduce inventory. On Oct. 3, the county undertook an effort to cut the number of employees who are assigned all-expenses-paid vehicles for commuting, withdrawing the privilege from 69 county workers. Before the reduction, Monmouth's take-home fleet numbered 248, which was the second highest among counties in the state. Now, with 179 county employees provided take-home cars, Monmouth falls to third place among counties in that category. Monmouth County officials announced plans to reduce vehicle inventory two days after the conclusion of a Press series, "Club Monmouth," which reported the county government was plagued by excessive overtime, runaway spending, and an entrenched system of patronage. The recent elimination of 69 take-home cars has not reduced the overall vehicle inventory since those cars remain in the fleet and are available to county employees during business hours. County spokesman Heine said the first true reduction in the overall fleet number will take place Oct. 29, when the county hopes to sell approximately 60 cars at auction. Even with a reduction of 60 vehicles, the Monmouth fleet would remain the largest among counties in the state.