Modified: July 25, 2018 5:04pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Commissioner of Public Works William Geary have announced the county’s intention to enter into a leasing agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management which would replace the county’s owned vehicle fleet with vehicles leased from Enterprise. The agreement would rotate out 395 vehicles from the county fleet, primarily in the Public Works and Parks departments, over the next five years along with 187 vehicles from the Erie County Sheriff’s office over the next four years. These county-owned vehicles will be sold and the proceeds used to defray leasing costs, accruing savings to the county of approximately $3.7 million by year five. Furthermore, the savings realized by leasing rather than purchasing new vehicles over the ten years of the proposed agreement are anticipated to be approximately $4 million, with reduced costs for maintenance, operation and fuel also anticipated.
“This agreement makes sense on many levels and is a responsible, cost-effective way of renewing the county fleet while saving taxpayers a considerable amount of money. New vehicles are expensive, and replacing the current fleet of light- and medium-duty vehicles would take over 14 years to do under the current system, all while other vehicles continue to age and deteriorate,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Through this leasing agreement we will realize savings for taxpayers by selling a portion of the current county fleet and replacing those vehicles with new, leased vehicles that are more fuel-efficient and require far less maintenance. We will be eliminating the cost of purchasing new vehicles and will replace our aged fleet at a faster rate with better vehicles at lower cost, with substantial savings over the ten years of this agreement.”
35% of the county’s current fleet of non-CDL vehicles is over 10 years old, incurring higher fuel and maintenance costs, while 44% of the vehicles used by the Erie County Sheriff’s office are over 8 years old and have the same concerns. The agreement with Enterprise would use an open-ended lease arrangement that would allow the county to update the fleet without large upfront capital costs and would also eliminate penalties for mileage, early termination, or excessive wear and tear. Vehicles from the Departments of Emergency Services and Probation would also be included in the initiative along with Public Works and Parks.
Commissioner of Public Works William Geary added, “By leasing a portion of our fleet we will provide safer, more modern and more efficient vehicles for our employees to use, and will be able to rotate those vehicles into the fleet at a much quicker rate but a much lower cost. In addition, the value of our current fleet will be realized as considerable savings as that fleet is sold and the savings accrue to Erie County. In the end, we will have a more modern and reliable fleet, with a greatly lessened carbon footprint, at a much lower cost to taxpayers moving forward.”
To participate in the initiative Erie County will “piggyback” on an existing bid that already includes the counties of Columbia, Cattaraugus, Sullivan, Orange, Otsego, Franklin, Cortland, Chemung, St. Lawrence, Seneca, Ontario, Steuben, Lewis, and Genesee as well as a number of towns across NYS. Aspire of WNY, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, and Suburban Adult Services, Inc. also partner in fleet leasing programs.
The cost-saving initiative must receive Legislature approval before it can be enacted. The legislature is expected to review the initiative at its session on Thursday July 26.
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