CHARLOTTE - The proposed business imperatives for the 2012-FY Mecklenburg County, N.C. budget includes money for replacement of aging, high-mileage fleet vehicles. Out of a total of 1,010 pieces of rolling stock (528 sedans, 222 light duty trucks, 99 vans, 99 SUVs, 62 heavy duty trucks), the County’s budget proposal noted 172 vehicles as high mileage and needing replacement.

The County used a points system to rate the fleet’s vehicles, with a score range of 3-12. A higher score indicates a greater replacement necessity. The three categories are age, mileage, and maintenance cost. The total number of vehicles with a score of 8 or higher was 172, with 56 vehicles with a score of 9, 19 vehicles with a score of 10 points, 6 with a score of 11, and 4 vehicles with a score of 12 points.

Of those vehicles requiring replacement, the Sheriff’s office has the highest number at 57 vehicles, primarily due to high average mileage per vehicle, at 117,000, and 8 average years of age. Social services has 41 vehicles with average mileage of 112,000 and an average age of 11 years. Parks and recreation has 18 vehicles with 123,000 miles and an average age of 11 years.

Due to the need to keep costs down, the County has reduced the amount in the reserve fund for vehicle replacement over the last few years. The fund’s amount went from from $1.2M in 2008 and 2009 to $0.6M in 2010 and 0 in 2011.The requested range for 2012 is $1.1M to $2.2M.

By Greg Basich