Leesburg Town Manager Robert S. Noe proposed the town use $170,000 of the $500,000 raised by a proposed cigarette tax increase to replace vehicles and equipment for the town's Department of Engineering & Public Works, the Journal of Loudon County
reported.It was also recommended to use $17,000 of the self-supported Utilities fund to purchase a pickup truck. However, Noe does not recommend using $32,000 for another pickup truck that had been requested by the Engineering & Public Works Department.The department asked for the $170,000 to fix mowers, brush chippers, and existing vehicles. Thomas Mason, Engineering & Public Works Director, said that some of the town’s fleet dates back to the 1980s, but maintenance costs could be deferred another year if necessary. The town's fleet is comprised of 59 cars and vans, 81 trucks, and 20 other vehicles used for street maintenance and other applications. The town projects that it will spend $700,650 to maintain the fleet in FY 2003 and $750,405 in FY 2004. Most of the increase in maintenance costs is due mainly to rising gasoline prices, Mason said.