City prepares to drive down transportation costs

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - They transport the workers who make Montgomery work.

Cars and trucks stamped with the City's seal are a common sight, but the fleet's future is unclear.

Recently, city leaders asked consultant Paul Hankins to officially count and classify each vehicle.   In his one month audit, Hankins found the city lacked a uniform policy.

"You had different department heads making different decisions about how cars can be used, and where it's appropriate or where it's not," he explained.

For instance, city workers take nearly 500 city-owned vehicles home overnight.

"Perfectly legal.  Perfectly within the city's policy.  People were allowed to take them home as part of their job," Hankins said.

With a budget shortfall looming, city leaders want to cut costs where they can.

"We've got a million and a half [dollars] just in fuel for the cars that we take home," explained Mayor Todd Strange.

Strange wants to streamline the system.

"They need to come to me --the cabinet members-- and say this is the justification that this car has to go home," he explained.

With a lack of reserve funds on the horizon, Mayor Strange says any way to steer clear of an economic roadblock will help.

"I guarantee you there will be less cars taken home next year then there are this year," Strange said.

City leaders will also address the issue of vehicles--including police cars--parked well outside the city limits.

A policy will go into effect as soon as next month.  Mayor Strange will submit a budget proposal to the City Council on August 18th.

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