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Local

DeKalb City Council to consider fleet leasing program as maintenance costs rise

Funding for what city staff said are priority vehicles such as emergency fire apparatus and large dump trucks for snow removal has been hard to come by, documents show.
Funding for what city staff said are priority vehicles such as emergency fire apparatus and large dump trucks for snow removal has been hard to come by, documents show.

DeKALB – City of DeKalb police, fire and public works departments could turn to leasing vehicles instead of buying them to help offset the significant capital costs needed to sustain an up-to-date fleet.

The City Council will on Monday consider whether to begin a fleet leasing program at the Committee of the Whole meeting set for 5 p.m. at the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St. With City Manager Bill Nicklas looked to right-size government spending and budget shortfalls in 2019, with a balanced fiscal 2020 budget, the priority turns to fleet maintenance.

Funding for what city staff said are priority vehicles such as emergency fire apparatus and large dump trucks for snow removal has been hard to come by, documents show.

The fiscal 2020 budget accounts for a new fire engine expected to cost more than half a million dollars.

A 2017 look at the state of DeKalb’s police and fire vehicles, as well as equipment utilized by the Public Works Department, found that vehicles have been in a state of decline since 2006, documents show. Of the 173 vehicles in the city’s fleet,
95 of them were deemed to be “beyond their useful life.”

Finding funds in the city’s capital budget has been a continuous yearly challenge, said city staff.

As an alternative, the City Council will consider options to lease new vehicles instead of buying new.

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