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El Paso City Council to decide if it will spend more money to replace some of its fleet

By Maria Garcia, MariaG@kvia.com.
Published On: Jul 17 2013 07:23:21 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 10:28:22 PM CST

Reporter: Maria Garcia

EL PASO, Texas -

El Paso City Council will have to decide if it wants to approve an additional million dollars to replace some of the city fleet.

The entire city fleet consists of about 2,500 vehicles. That includes garbage trucks, street sweepers, administrative SUVs for departments like engineering and parks, plus all of the police fleet and firetrucks.

The vehicles are replaced every five, eight or 10 years depending on mileage, said General Services Director Stuart Ed.

Usually, General Services tries to replace a car if it has more than 125,000 miles, but Stuart on Wednesday said some cars have been in service longer.

In fiscal year 2013, the city spent $2.1 million on vehicle replacement. Ed is proposing to increase that to $3.3 million in fiscal year 2014. That's a 53% increase. The additional money would replace 60 vehicles, according to Ed.

He said it's more cost effective to replace cars sooner than later. "It allows us to take advantage of manufacturing warranties rather than taking funds out of the general fund for vehicle maintenance," he said.

The 60 new vehicles would include 15 police units, four fire department pumpers, a couple of heavy vehicles to maintain roads and fix potholes and several administrative vans.

In Fiscal Year 2013, the city spent $7.6 million on maintenance and repairs. Ed said about 85 percent of that went toward repairs.

Ed said the the  General Services department's long term goal is to eventually have $10 dollars a year for vehicle replacement.

The $3.3 million are only a part of the $50 million General Services budget. General Services handles facilities, land and records management, plus contract and materials and the city's entire fleet.

Last year, the General Services budget was $48.5 million. Ed said the proposed increase in the budget is mostly due to the fleet replacement. He said they've saved in other areas, such as facility utilities. Since starting an energy savings program in 2009, the city facilities' electrical bill went from $9.1 million to $7.1 million.

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