GILLETTE, WY – Following in the footsteps of the City of Gillette and the Campbell County Fire Department, the Campbell County Commission has started a fleet management policy to replace old vehicles. The biggest advantage of the policy is the formation of a vehicle replacement account that would be funded each year to cover the cost of depreciation on the vehicles, according to Gillette News Record.
Many of the agencies affected by the policy have two issues: Whether the vehicles will be bought locally and who will be able to take vehicles home. Under the new policy, the fleet manager will be responsible for decisions on whether a vehicle needs replaced and where it is bought. The county now allows each individual department to choose how and where to buy each vehicle.
Sheriff Bill Pownall said most sheriff’s vehicles are bought locally, with rare exceptions, and that he would like to keep money in the county.
But local dealers aren’t always the lowest bidder, said Public Works Director Kevin King, who said that his department recently went out to bid on a vehicle and a dealership in Casper came in about $2,000 lower than the local dealers.
Fleet manager Rod Warne added that he follows the county’s fiscal policy when bidding a vehicle, which allows a bid package to anyone who requests it — not just the local businesses.
Commissioner Craig Mader said he would be in favor of staying with local dealers as long as they keep it close to the same price, according to Gillette News Record. Keeping taxpayers’ money in the county also appealed to Commissioner Amir Sancher, but within reason. Sancher suggested allowing five percent preferential treatment for the local dealers, which is similar to what the state offers for contractors in the state.
Mader elaborated that the reason for the change was to control employee abuse of county vehicles. Mader’s example was that he receives calls from constituents complaining about seeing the vehicles at church.
Out of the 198 vehicles owned by the county, 39 are used frequently as take-home vehicles by several departments. The new policy would allow take-home vehicles only for employees who are on-call for an emergency.
However, Airport Manager Jay Lundell and county Facilities Manager Vern Fundenberger felt the policy’s definition of an emergency needed to be clarified in order for many of their employees to be eligible for a take-home vehicle. Both managers see the vehicles as tools to do a job. Fundenberger added that it has been used as a recruitment tool in the past. But supplying a vehicle is not a formal job benefit of the county, said Commissioner Chris Knapp.
Commissioners will discuss these issues again Apr. 15.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet