WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cutting the District of Columbia’s government’s fleet by 150 vehicles within 90 days, as demanded by Mayor Adrian Fenty, will have to wait, as D.C. recently contracted with a Virginia dealership to purchase 15 new pickup trucks, according to the Web site www.examiner.com.

Fenty’s 100 Days and Beyond blueprint pledged the vehicle cutback to reduce costs and improve air quality. But the Department of Public Works, which maintains the District’s 3,000-vehicle fleet, recently struck a $343,710 deal with Alexandria’s Ourisman Dodge for new 4x4 trucks to haul trash in the warmer months or to plow snow and spread salt during winter storms.

DPW spokeswoman Linda Grant said the $23,000 trucks will be purchased under the vehicle replacement program, which replaces older, less fuel-efficient vehicles with trucks running on alternative-fuel technology. The new vehicles will run on 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gas. Meanwhile, she said, a strategy to meet the 150-vehicle reduction goal still is under discussion.

During a D.C. Council oversight hearing in Feb. 2006, DPW Director William Howland said the District’s fleet management program purchases roughly $10 million worth of vehicles and equipment annually, describing the “replenishment program” as key to the rehabilitation and replacement of the aging fleet, according to the Web site www.examiner.com. More than 96 percent of the fleet equipment, Howland told the D.C. Council, “falls within industry ‘useful life’ standards.” The trucks replaced through the Dodge contract are about six years old.