Fleet Acquisition & Replacement
To centralize all County fleet vehicle replacement(s) into a single entity and to establish a dedicated, multi-year acquisition and replacement program. On March 15, 2004, the initial program recommendations were presented to the Commissioners of St. Mary's County and included a prioritized needs listing based on utilization, age, compatibility with the rest of the fleet, condition, fuel economy, safety / repair records, serviceability and available funding levels. As typical programs may run anywhere from four to eight years in length, a six (6) year vehicle replacement schedule was presented to the Commissioners of St. Mary's County by the DPW&T on March 15, 2004 and March 1, 2010.
Effective April 20, 2000, the Transportation Division was responsible for updating and administering the Commissioners of St. Mary's County's approved multi-year Fleet Replacement Program (FRP) for both vehicles and equipment. The multi-year program is re-confirmed annually by the Transportation Division and a recommended priority replacement listing is provided to the Board for funding consideration.
As a general rule, the Replacement Guidelines are not used as hard and fast rules to determine which vehicles and equipment items will be retained in or removed from the fleet. Rather, they are to be used as performance indicators that trigger reviews between the Transportation Division and using Departments. Annual mileage is not always a good indicator of the need for a vehicle. Some vehicles are heavily used even though they do not accumulate a lot of miles. Thus, while high mileage rates usually are a good indication that a vehicle is needed and should be retained, the opposite cannot necessarily be said of low mileage rates. Low mileage vehicles are not necessarily low-usage or low importance vehicles. They may or may not be vital to the performance of employees’ job duties and agencies’ missions. Additional consideration will also be given to functionality, safety and overall condition of the vehicle.
Priority will be given to those departments whose services relate to public health and safety and law enforcement. As vehicles reach the targeted miles or age of replacement criteria, a vehicle maintenance evaluation will be performed by the Transportation Division. Since a large portion of the fleet remains eligible for replacement, that is why the Department provides a prioritized listing each year to ensure the Board replaces the vehicles and equipment that are in the greatest need of replacement with the funding level made available each year. Case in point, of the total number of tagged vehicles in the County’s fleet inventory, approximately 36% are ten (10) years old or older, and/or are otherwise eligible for replacement. Estimated replacement cost for these identified vehicles exceeds $3.5M. The above figure excludes the more expensive non-tagged equipment whose current replacement needs are estimated at just over $1M.
Replacement funds will be used to replace the vehicles that have the highest replacement priority, as determined by the DPW&T, in order to assure the safety and efficiency of the entire fleet. Departments wishing to upgrade with a more expensive model will require approval of the Commissioners of St. Mary's County and a separate justification for funding during the budget process.
The DPW&T will ensure that all County vehicles and equipment are essential to performance of departmental missions and will identify those vehicles and equipment that are no longer necessary or not utilized to the fullest extent. The fleet will be analyzed to determine whether or not it would be economical to retain a vehicle for an additional year, should be recommended for disposal, reassigned to a department with “low usage” requirements, or placed in the Fleet Motor Pool. Recommendations for new and disposition of the existing fleet are provided to the Commissioners of St. Mary's County annually.
Recommendations for the Sheriff’s Office remain consistent with current policies and practice. In FY 2007, it was agreed that the equipment outfitting of all Sheriff’s vehicles would be included in the Replacement Program. All Sheriff’s Office confidential and specialty use vehicles are exempt from the policies contained herein. Disclaimer: Nothing in this policy is intended to prevent or hamper the operational readiness of the Sheriff’s Office as it pertains to use of vehicles.
Motor vehicle and equipment replacement acquisitions are only permitted for those prioritized by the Transportation Division for replacement and approved by the Commissioners of St. Mary's County. It is the responsibility of the Transportation Division to coordinate the purchase, inspection, accept the delivery, license, and tag all new vehicles and equipment. New vehicle acquisitions may be authorized by the Commissioners of St. Mary's County via individual departmental request(s) and upon recommendation by the DPW&T based on an analysis of the overall fleet. The method of funding such as general fund, exempt, guaranteed buy-back lease etc. will be determined by the Finance Department.
Transportation will establish standard specifications for sedans, light trucks, and other tagged vehicles and off-road motorized equipment to the extent feasible. User departments will be responsible for developing specifications for specialty vehicles, non-standard equipment, and any other deviations from standardized specifications. User departments are required to justify requested changes to standardized specifications. The user agency will be afforded an opportunity to review the final specifications prior to release for bid. The Office of the Sheriff will determine standard specifications for police packages, specialty vehicles, and equipment for marked and unmarked vehicles.