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The city tries to squeeze more miles out of vehicles

Posted by haroldkitching on February 22, 2013 at 1:15 AM

Much as do many city residents when cash is short, Casa Grande government tries to squeeze a few more miles out of vehicles.

That was shown both Tuesday night and last month as the City Council heard requests to purchase new trucks and cars.

Appearing before the council Tuesday night, Public Works Director Kevin Louis asked to purchase three light-duty trucks at a total of $82,109 and one pickup for $30,313. All are 2013 models.

The first light truck, for the Parks Department, is a Ford F-350 XL 2-wheel drive to replace a 2000 Dodge with 90,000 miles on it.

The staff report said that vehicle “is in fair mechanical condition,” but Louis pointed out that the vehicle doesn’t look as good as the description sounds. “It has more than reached its useful life,” he said.

The second truck, a Ford F-250 XL 2-wheel drive pickup for the Streets Division, replaces a 2000 vehicle with 120,000 miles on it.

The third, a Ford F-150 XL pickup for the Wastewater Division, replaces a 2005 model with 137,000 miles.

“All of these vehicles were part of the vehicle replacement program,” Louis said. “We actually budgeted $96,000 for the three.”

The fourth vehicle, a Ford F-150 XL 4x4 pickup for the landfill operations, replaces a 2003 vehicle with 94,000 miles.

“This had been rolled over for two yearly budget cycles,” Louis said. “It was up for replacement but staff felt that it was able to be run for a few more years. Well, it’s finally reached what we’ve determined its useful life is.”

Councilman Matt Herman told Louis, “I just want to commend you for keeping that one truck for two years longer. That really helps out with the budget.”

Last month when the council approved buying new police vehicles, Councilwoman Mary Kortsen asked for a definition of “useful life.”

Cmdr. Kent Horn of the Police Department said city departments rely upon Dave Sanders, the fleet manager, for assessments of vehicles’ conditions.

“We have tried in the past to set a specific mileage, when as a matter of fact right now some of our vehicles are in excess of what we do consider to be the useful life,” Horn said. “It’s not a finite figure as much as it is the condition of the vehicles themselves, when they start costing more and more for maintenance and upkeep.

“He keeps individual records on all of the cars and he knows. For instance, large ticket items like transmissions, he can predict fairly closely of when we’re going to have to put more money into those vehicles.”

So, Kortsen said, “it’s not like you going to say, oops, it’s got 100,000 miles and out it goes. There’s somebody taking a look at it, its repair record and maintenance record and that so each individual vehicle has its own criteria.”

Yes, Horn replied.

(You'll find the agenda items at  Click on the items in blue to bring up the staff reports and other documentation.)

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