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January 8, 2014

 

County considers leasing vehicles

Cars

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Part of the fleet of county owned cars is parked in a lot next to the County Office Building. The county is discussing the possibility of leasing its cars instead of purchasing them.

By CATHERINE WILDE
Staff Reporter
cwilde@cortlandstandard.net

In an effort to save about $96,000 annually in maintenance and replacement costs of county vehicles, Cortland County is considering leasing its fleet of vehicles over a five-year contract with Rochester-based Enterprise FM Trust.
The contract would cost $96,156 yearly, but Highway Superintendent Don Chambers says this cost would pay for itself as the county saves about that much yearly in the expense of repairing and replacing its aging fleet of vehicles.
Chambers presented the plan to the Highway Committee Tuesday. The committee endorsed the idea, which will be considered Thursday by the Health and Human Services Committee and the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.
Enterprise was the sole respondent to the county’s request for proposals. The plan is to gradually phase in leasing the entire fleet of county vehicles: 12 in the Sheriff’s Department and 67 vehicles in other county departments.
In the first year, a total of 24 vehicles would be leased, 19 out of the 67 vehicle fleet and five out of the Sheriff’s Department fleet of 12 unmarked cars.
Chambers said the savings would be twofold, the county would not only save on repairs but also benefit from more fuel-efficient vehicles.
In addition, the county would make more at auction by selling 24 vehicles rather than the annual average of about five vehicles sold yearly.
“As you go through the program, you’re looking at anywhere between $25,000 to $40,000 in additional revenue coming in,” Chambers said.
He says 44 percent of the county’s fleet is over 10 years old and the county replaces about five vehicles on average each year.
Chambers said in the first year about $75,000 would be saved by leasing the county fleet and about $20,000 would be saved in the Sheriff’s Department.
If the Legislature approves the idea at its meeting Jan. 23, Chambers said it would take a few months to get the vehicles.
The plan would only cover vehicles under 26,000 pounds.
Legislator James Denkenberger (R-Solon, Truxton and Cuyler), who questioned Chambers about specifics of the proposal during the meeting, such as types of vehicles covered and warantee stipulations, said afterward he thinks it is a “well executed” plan and thinks it is a good idea.

 

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