City takes over fleet maintenance

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The city of Fort Wayne is bringing its fleet maintenance services in-house in an effort to save money, ending its contract with its outside vendor.

The Fort Wayne City Council approved the move July 10 and its current vendor, First Vehicle Services, was notified its contract would end Sept. 29. The move is expected to save the city nearly $350,000 a year.

“Having a productive fleet of vehicles is critical to our continued proactive efforts to provide the services that our residents and businesses depend on each day,” Mayor Tom Henry said in the city’s announcement of the move. “It’s important that we keep our vehicles on the road and working in our neighborhoods and major traffic corridors in the most efficient and effective manner possible.”

From snow plow trucks to water and sewer maintenance trucks, to road paving equipment, and police and fire vehicles, Fort Wayne’s fleet department maintains more than 2,340 vehicles. These vehicles are used every day to provide essential services throughout the community. Collectively, they are in service more than 36,000 hours a day and cover more than 9.4 million miles each year.

“By bringing this service in-house, we will have direct access to mechanics, improve efficiency, reduce costs and improve reliability by making sure the vehicles are ready to go when we need them,” said Shan Gunawardena, director of Public Works.

If the city remained with First Vehicle Services, this year’s fleet costs would be $4,847,249. Under the city-run fleet maintenance operation, the costs for this year are estimated at $4,503,400.

Current workers for First Vehicle were offered positions in the new arrangement and most accepted. The city will hire 26 employees and will take over the operation on Sept. 30.