BUFFALO, NY – Dozens of Buffalo city employees who have enjoyed take-home car privileges for years will no longer have vehicles for 24/7 use, according to the Buffalo News.

Mayor Byron Brown is slashing the city’s fleet of take-home vehicles by 41 percent. The reduction will leave 50 city employees with take-home car privileges, down from 85. All but six of the remaining take-home cars will be assigned to police and fire officials. Employees who get take-home vehicles are deemed to be on call around-the-clock.

The remaining 50 employees who can take cars home are being instructed that the vehicles are not to be used for personal trips, Brown said during a City Hall news conference. Brown also ordered a tightening of controls at city-owned gasoline pumps. Monitors will scrutinize gas usage on a weekly basis as opposed to monthly. The weekly reports will include summaries of fuel usage for each city vehicle.

The city has earmarked $4 million for fuel costs in the fiscal year that started recently up $1.1 million for the previous year. Administration officials said gasoline pumped into take-home vehicles last year accounted for only eight percent of the city’s overall fuel consumption. Still, they said that as gas costs continue to rise, the city wants to take additional steps to try to control fuel consumption, according to the Buffalo News.

Also, Mickey Kearns, south district councilman, is issuing a call for Buffalo Mayor Brown to give up his city-owned and paid-for vehicle, and he wants an overall reduction in the amount of out-of-town travel taken by administration officials, according to www.wben.com.

Brown has defended his use of a city vehicle and paid driver.