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Study of Jefferson County, Alabama, Fleet Says Reducing Fleet Size Could Save Millions Yearly

January 19, 2004

Plans to reduce the number of fleet cars, trucks and earthmovers operated by Jefferson County in Alabama could save about $2.7 million per year, the Birmingham Times newspaper reported on Jan. 13. The savings include $2.5 million from recent efforts to cut the number of vehicles employees drive home, said Randy Owen, senior vice president of Mercury Associates, a fleet management consulting company. Mercury, hired last year to study the county's fleet management program, also said the county could save $200,000 per year by selling up to three-dozen vehicles it has identified as unnecessary. The county could net another $140,000 from those sales, said the Maryland-based consultants. Mercury Associates will next examine how Jefferson County buys gas and charges its departments for fuel. In addition, they will also recommend how the county should establish a motor pool for employees. Jefferson County Commission President Larry Langford has met with department heads in recent months, and has slashed the number of vehicles driven home by county employees under the commission's control. Now 94 workers drive county vehicles home, down from the previous 270, reported the Birmingham Times. Another 322 vehicles, mostly patrol cars, are driven home daily in the sheriff's department, which is outside the commission's control. According to the Birmingham Times, Langford wants to sell the vehicles that aren't put into the motor pool. Mercury has also recommended major changes in the way the county obtains and maintains its fleet of 2,100 cars, trucks, and heavy equipment. Switching to a lease-purchase method instead of buying cars for cash could save $15 million over five years.
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