County Vehicle Leasing Plan Advances, Despite Concerns Over Lack of Bids
Cortland County is tentatively moving forward with a plan to lease county vehicle instead of purchasing.
Lawmakers on the Cortland County Budget Committee have endorsed a plan for the county to lease most of its vehicle fleet from Enterprise Car Rental.
After a good deal of debate Wednesday, lawmakers on the Budget Committee approved moving ahead with the Enterprise lease.
County Highway Superintendent Don Chambers who oversees the county's fleet of vehicles says county is currently spending around $466 thousand dollars a year to own and operate its light fleet vehicles, which includes unmarked cars used by the sheriff's office along with vehicles for several other county departments.
Currently many vehicles in the county fleet need to be replaced, several of the cars used by county employees are high mileage, require frequent repairs, and are less fuel efficient than newer models.
Chambers says the leasing program will reduce the expense to operate the county's vehicle fleet. If the county enters into the five year lease program it will result in a yearly cost savings of more than $33 thousand dollars, over 10 years that savings would grow to more than $372 thousand dollars.
Unlike traditional vehicle leases the county would build equity over the term of the leases which could be used to buy out the vehicles at the end of the lease period or could be credited toward new leases.
County Legislative Chair Susan Briggs says she supports the leasing concept but was concerned that the county only received one bid on the proposal, she says without other bids it makes it difficult to know if the county is getting the best deal.
Chambers told the committee that other national leasing companies looked at the County's request for proposal but did not respond, Chambers was unsure why.
Republican lawmaker George Wagner also questioned the single bid, he would like to hear from other counties that have used this program.
The proposal must pass the full county legislature next Thursday.