FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 26, 2019
NEW BRITAIN—The City of New Britain’s Department of Public Works has finalized its biannual Fleet Report, which details the City’s continued reduction in the number of City vehicles on the road over the last three years, along with a decrease in fuel consumption, among other changes.
In February 2016, Mayor Erin Stewart issued a memorandum establishing a goal to reduce the size of the City’s fleet by 5 percent in an ongoing effort to streamline and reduce the cost of government. Since then, that goal has been exceeded, as the fleet has been reduced by 35 vehicles—a 10 percent reduction.
The efforts are part of the City’s on-going SMART City initiative, which was established in 2016 with the aim of creating energy savings for the City, implementing innovative projects, and reducing the City’s impact on the environment. An advisory group, the SMART City Committee, assists in overseeing the initiative.
“Like most large cities, the size of our City fleet is essential to the quality of life, assisting with everything from routine maintenance activities to emergency responses,” said Mayor Stewart. “The proper management of this costly asset is critical to maximizing taxpayer money. Reducing the number of vehicles in operation, switching to more fuel-efficient vehicles and equipment, prolonging vehicle life cycles with proper maintenance, and implementing practices that reduce fuel consumption will help to save us hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.”
In the fall of 2018, Mayor Stewart and the New Britain City Council passed a resolution for a new Capital Equipment bond in the amount of $1.96 million, which will fund the purchase of 38 critical vehicles and equipment for various City departments. Each vehicle and piece of equipment being purchased is scheduled to replace an existing vehicle or piece of equipment that is being taken off line due to age and inefficiency and will be auctioned off.
Among the highlights in the 51-page report are:
-Since the last Fleet Report in January 2017, the City further reduced the size of its fleet by 10 vehicles (2.9 percent) to 349 vehicles. Since FY-‘16, the number of vehicles has been reduced by over 10 percent, or 35 vehicles.
-Front-line vehicles for the New Britain Police Department have been changed from V8-powered Crown Victoria’s to a more fuel-efficient V6 Ford Explorer, which has resulted in increased fuel efficiency by over 10 miles per gallon.
-Annual fuel costs continue to decrease. Since FY-’13, fuel consumption by the City’s fleet has decreased by 25.44 percent, savings taxpayers thousands of dollars in fuel costs.
-A reduction in vehicle idling, particularly within the Public Works Department, through the implementation of a strict “no idling” policy that was implemented in December 2017.
-Continued refinement of the City’s GPS vehicle tracking system, which was put in use in the fall of 2017, and is being used on all non-police, fire, and EMS vehicles, to assist in creating a better delivery of services, such as snow plowing, citywide leaf collection, and reducing fuel consumption.
-The implementation of “pooling” City vehicles in the fall of 2018, which allowed for the repurposing of some vehicles assigned to specific City departments but were being underutilized, as part of the City’s effort to minimize the size of the fleet.
As part of an initiative to generate additional revenue for the City of New Britain, a pilot program is underway to explore allowing advertising on approximately 20 non-emergency, City vehicles.
“The City’s Fleet Manager Sam Plumley continues to do a great job managing the City’s fleet of vehicles and equipment since being promoted to this position in January of 2016, and we’re very proud of the progress we’re making improving the efficiencies and lowering the City’s costs of the fleet,” said Director of Public Works Mark Moriarty.
With the exception of the New Britain Fire Department, the City’s Department of Public Works manages the entire City’s Fleet Operations out of two primary locations: the Public Works yard on Harvard Street and the maintenance garage at Stanley Quarter Park. In January 2016, the City’s Fleet Operations flourished with the promotion of Sam Plumley to the position of Fleet Manager—which had previously been vacant for nearly a decade.
The full report will be available at newbritainct.gov
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