A plan by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's administration to borrow $4 million to buy more than 130 vehicles, including 44 police cars, was approved this week by the city council, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper.

Under the plan, which the city council approved unanimously, the city will pay off the debt over seven years beginning in March 2005.

In recent years, the city has tried to regularly update its fleets of cars, trucks and heavy equipment in an effort to reduce maintenance expenses. By failing to phase out older vehicles in the past, many agencies had to struggle to operate because much of their equipment was in the repair shop.

In addition to 44 police cars, the new proposal includes 26 vans, 23 pickup trucks, 12 pieces of heavy equipment, 10 full-size sedans, eight midsize sport utility vehicles, eight riding lawn mowers, four ambulances, and four trucks for the city's animal-control agency, according to the Times-Picayune report.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials