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Mayor Brown Reduces City Take-Home Vehicles By 41%
City Anticipates Reduction in Fiscal Year Fuel Spending
BUFFALO – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced a 41% reduction of take-home vehicles used by City of Buffalo employees. The significant reduction follows an extensive internal analysis over a period of months, which included meetings with city department heads. Through meetings with the city’s Law Department it was determined that 15% of the city’s previous 85 take home vehicles were mandated by contractual obligations.
“When I delivered my 2008-09 city budget on May 1st, I stated that we must continue our conservative fiscal management of city resources to ensure that costs are being minimized and services are being delivered in a very cost-effective manner,” said Mayor Brown. “Residents have had to tighten their belts and city government must tighten its belt as well, especially in this time of economic difficulty, by cutting our gasoline and energy consumption and deferring all non-essential travel and purchases. By economizing on city expenditures, we will preserve our city resources, so that we can make targeted investments in areas that will help grow our economy, strengthen our neighborhoods and improve our residents’ quality of life.”
Prior to Mayor Brown’s mandated reduction, 82.3% of the City’s take-home vehicles were for public safety. After the reduction, 88% of the vehicles will be dedicated to public safety activities, such as police and fire vehicles.
In fiscal year 2007-2008, the total cost for fuel for all city-owned vehicles was $2.9 million. Of that $2.9 million, $231,958 was for take-home vehicles, or 8% of the entire fuel budget for the City of Buffalo. Of that 8% fuel budget for take-home vehicles, 85% of the budget for fuel was for public safety vehicles, 58% went to the Buffalo Police, and 27% went to Buffalo Fire.
Take home vehicles for the Buffalo Police Department will be reduced by 40%, 11 police vehicles are mandated as take-home vehicles, 6 are for Inspectors per the Buffalo PBA contract, 4 are mandated to the K-9 units, 1 is for the Narcotics unit, per a memorandum of understanding between the Buffalo Police and the FBI.
“At a time when gas prices are over $4 a gallon, it’s imperative that we ensure that our costs are managed in a way that minimizes the overall impact on the city budget, but does not negatively affect the delivery of essential city services, particularly in public safety,” Mayor Brown said. “While Erie County has reduced its take-home cars by 16%, I believe the 41% reduction we have made in the City of Buffalo signifies the benefit of our internal, detailed analysis and our commitment to managing our costs and the inevitable impact on our taxpayers.”
Previously, the city’s Fuel Master tracking system provided monthly reports to the Division of Inventory and Stores. Mayor Brown has directed that the reports now be made on a weekly basis, providing information on who puts in fuel into a vehicle, how much fuel is put into a vehicle and at what time. All of which will now be tracked by the CitiStat Buffalo panel.
The city purchases its fuel under New York State contract (i.e., volume buying) to ensure that the cheapest price is available for the fuel.
“My Administration is filing these changes today with the Buffalo City Council and the changes will also be posted on the City of Buffalo website,” said Mayor Brown. “We have also imposed a new five-gallon daily limit for fueling utility equipment such as lawn mowers and weed whackers. I want the city’s taxpayers to know that I take this situation very seriously and we will continue to examine methods for reducing costs in all areas of city government.”
© 2001-2011 City of Buffalo
Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios