The city of Ann Arbor may be able to wipe out part of its budget deficit by getting rid of under-utilized cars and trucks, according to a report in the Ann Arbor News on March 10.

A recent review of department vehicles revealed a city-owned van that was used only one hour a week, a parking enforcement car that averaged 28 miles a week, and a city dump truck that was used 2.3 hours a week to dump calcium chloride on dirt roads.

All will be eliminated or redeployed to replace other aging vehicles. Officials estimate they can save the city about $1 million in operating expenses, maintenance and replacement costs over the next 10 years by cutting 36 vehicles from its fleet of about 410 cars and trucks.

The city is facing a $3 million deficit even with layoffs and is considering raising taxes to balance the fiscal 2004-05 budget, according to the Ann Arbor News. The city has reduced its work force from 1,004 employees in 2000-01 to about 800 in the upcoming fiscal 2004-05 year, which begins July 1.

Each city department head was asked to submit a written explanation of why the vehicles are needed. City staff then analyzed usage for each vehicle and targeted the city's least-used cars and trucks.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials