PUEBLO, CO – Pueblo County owns 345 vehicles, divided almost equally among the road and bridge department with 117 vehicles, the sheriff’s office with 120, and the other county departments with 108, according to the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper. Within the road and bridge division fleet are two categories of vehicles: Ñ heavy on-road and off-road vehicles, and light-duty trucks and cars.

According to Public Works Director Greg Severance, there are 35 of 37 heavy trucks with more than 100,000 miles and the average mileage on them is 171,700 miles. And the sheriff’s fleet of 72 marked patrol cars and 48 unmarked patrol cars and vans, has an average mileage of 114,640, with four of the 120 vehicles exceeding 200,000 miles. Fifty-four of the cars have less than 100,000 miles.

During the past three years, Pueblo County has been replacing an average of five patrol vehicles per year, which is less than the ideal 10 vehicles that should be replaced per year according to Sheriff Kirk Taylor.

Of the 108 vehicles assigned to other county departments and elected officials, the average mileage is 78,150 miles. Twenty-seven have more than 100,000 miles, eight exceed 200,000 miles, and the remaining 73 have less than 100,000 miles.

Severance said the county has a vehicle replacement program that could be a cost-effective approach to preserving an adequate fleet, promoting a replacement cycle of six to eight years for all vehicles. However, the problem is cost, reported the Pueblo Chieftain.

Severance figures the cost to keep up with the vehicle replacement program would be $878,300 a year for the road and bridge department; while the sheriff’s and other departments would need $469,500 a year.