By Dennis Volkert
At the Jan. 24 meeting of Sturgis City Commission, Tyler Joldersma of Enterprise Fleet Management outlined a proposal for the city’s vehicle maintenance.
The city’s motor vehicle committee had met previously with Joldersma and completed an analysis of city vehicles that may qualify for consideration.
The program is designed to achieve savings by maximizing resale value, improving fuel efficiency and reducing maintenance expense and fleet downtime.
The plan pertains mainly to light- to medium-duty vehicles, such as public safety squad cars and general public utilities trucks. It typically does not involve heavy-duty machinery, such as snow-plow or leaf-collection vehicles.
City officials believe the plan would lead to some cost reduction and free some staffing and resources to address other maintenance projects.
Analysis by Enterprise suggests age of the city’s fleet may have a negative impact on budget and operations expense.
● 25% of the current light and medium duty fleet is at least 10 years old.
● Resale value is reduced significantly.
● Newer vehicles would have a significantly lower maintenance expense, better fuel efficiency and more advanced technology.
● The city faces a challenge with inconsistent yearly budgets.
Among the objectives: Identify an effective vehicle life cycle that maximizes equity. A conservative estimate shows a cost-saving of more than $809,000 in a 10-year period, according to Joldersma.
● Decrease vehicle life cycle from 10 years to about years.
● Provide a lower sustainable fleet cost that is predictable.
● More than $49,700 could be obtained from salvage of 11 vehicles within the first year.
● Reduce maintenance to an average monthly cost of $57, compared to $147.
● Reduce fuel expense by having a larger number of more efficient vehicles.
In addition, later-model vehicles have increased safety features.
The Enterprise contract is available through Sourcewell, which collaborates with government entities to help them operate more efficiently. City of Sturgis is a member of Sourcewell’s cooperative purchasing program. The service is the equivalent of an “awarded bid” through the city’s process, so the city has not reviewed alternatives, city manager Andrew Kuk said.
The proposal may return to the commission at some point for formal consideration.