NORMAN — City officials have hired a consultant to help them study the most cost-effective way to manage and maintain the city's fleet of more than 850 vehicles.
Many of the vehicles are old and in need of replacement. Couple that with rising fuel costs, and you have a budgetary nightmare, Public Works Director Shawn O'Leary said.
More vehicles are added to the fleet every year, but no new mechanics have been added in 10 years, O'Leary said.
“Frankly, we think we need some help. We can't keep going on this path,” O'Leary said.
The annual cost of maintaining the fleet is about $5 million, he said, with costs increasing every year.
City council members on Tuesday approved a $53,580 contract with Mercury Associates Inc., of Overland Park, Kan., to evaluate the fleet operation. The firm is charged with assessing the fleet division's overall effectiveness and coming up with management recommendations.
“We want a modern fleet-management operation that provides superior customer service and is also cost-effective,” O'Leary said.