CLAYTON, MO - St. Louis County department heads will lose their take-home vehicles at the end of this year as part of a plan to cut 1 percent from the county's 2011 budget, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

County Executive Charlie Dooley sent a July 1 memo to his 13 department heads informing them that as of Jan. 1, 2011, he was taking away their take-home cars, reported the Post-Dispatch.

Dooley said the move will save about $91,000 a year. He also said the department heads will lose their gas cards, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Altogether, the county has 34 take-home cars, including several assigned to health employees on a state contract to inspect dairy facilities, many of them outstate. Dooley said the new policy will not apply to those inspectors or to Police Department officials and others he described as "essential personnel."

He included himself in the latter category and will not be giving up his car, a 2007 Chevy Impala, which he told the Post-Dispatch is used 95 percent for business.

Dooley said the directors' take-home cars would join the county's fleet of pool cars. "If they need to drive somewhere on county business, they can use a car from the pool," he said, reported the Post-Dispatch.