The Hutchinson City Council last night adopted a new vehicle and equipment policy aimed at saving the city and ultimately taxpayers money.
Because of budget constraints, the city is faced with not being able to maintain and replace its current fleet, so steps are being taken to head-off future problems.
City Administrator Jeremy Carter formed a committee made up of various city department members to come up with a policy that will, among other things, evaluate the condition of equipment, prioritize replacement, and incoporate sharing vehicles and equipment amongst the various city departments. Carter says sharing equipment may save the most money.
Fire Chief Brad Emans, who is on the committee, says the various departments have already identified numerous ways to make the fleet more efficient and cost effective. He says the various departments have already identified 43 pieces of equipment that could either be eliminated or not replaced when they wear out, which is about 20 percent of the total fleet.
The new policy requires the “Fleet Committee” to review vehicle/equipment policies and to make recommendations regarding utilization, acquisition, disposition, maintenance and related procedures.
In the future, city officials say the sharing of equipment may be expanded to include other entities such as Hutchinson Utilities and the school district.