New vehicle replacement policy under review

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Town council members and the town manager will meet with officials from Fleet Management Enterprise on Dec. 17 to look at the town’s vehicle replacement needs for next year and review the first year results of its new policy to replace outdated vehicles.

“It is primarily to review our first year of involvement in this new program and look at what needs to be done in the next fiscal year that begins on July 1,” said Town Manager Charles Brown.

But one of the problems right now is adding additional police vehicles, because GMC has suspended all development on Dodge Chargers until 2021, Brown said.

Mount Olive has added nine new vehicles to its police department replacement this year under the new program.

Plans called for adding three more next year.

Brown said the suspension of Chargers until 2021 means reviewing other possibilities to replace those three cars in the police department.

The town has replaced 19 vehicles with new 2019 vehicles in this first year of the Fleet Management Program.

Overall, plans call for replacing another 10 vehicles in the coming fiscal year.

That would give the town 29 new vehicles and still leave Mount Olive two more years to replace its entire fleet of 45 vehicles.

The town board, last January, unanimously approved a contract to do that with Fleet Management.

The firm’s commitment is after five years the town will have replaced its entire fleet with new vehicles and nearly halted overwhelming maintenance expenses.

The previous way the town replaced vehicles was through purchasing surplus vehicles that town officials say were already worn out and stayed in the maintenance shop more than on the road.

Town commissioner Steve Wiggins said previously that the first year results in savings “are impressive.”

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