BENSON, AZ - High operating and maintenance costs for Southeastern Arizona Behavioral Health Services' (SEABHS) fleet can be attributed to the fact that employees consider them personal vehicles, reported the San Pedro Valley News-Sun.
Mercelino Varona, a new member to the board, said not one of the company vehicles is labeled "for company use only" or has the SEABHS logo. The employees treat all the cars as personal vehicles, he said, according to the Sun.
The SEABHS vehicle fleet for maintenance and purchases is costing the agency more than $650,000 a year, reported the Sun. Records show fuel costs last year for SEABHS were $293,923. In addition, SEABHS records outlining the cars purchased revealed 26 were bought at a discount through the Arizona Department of Transportation. The rest of the cars were purchased directly from car lots.
Board members criticized the fact that SEABHS has 119 vehicles, including cars and transportation vans - more than the entire City of Nogales, reported the Sun. Vehicles include a Dodge Ram, Jeep Liberty, Dodge Dakota, Chevy Uplander, and Dodge Caravan, ranging from 1998 to 2008 model-years, but are mostly 2004 or newer.