Tuesday, December 11, 2018

County needs to implement leasing program

It almost seems too good to be true.

In fact, that’s exactly what has some Dodge County officials thinking as they dig into a proposal that would potentially save taxpayers nearly $425,000 over the next seven years. But after they keep researching it, they are finding out that it’s not too good to be true.

Sheriff Scott Rose has approached the Dodge County Board with the idea of a leasing program for his patrol fleet. Instead of purchasing vehicles as has been the practice for many years, Rose wants the county to team up with Enterprise Fleet Management, a company that operates 1.9 million vehicles worldwide.

And now the rest of the county is getting in line with Rose hoping to take advantage of the program for the rest of the county’s vehicle fleet.

Rose has found leasing would save the sheriff’s office $284,000 in five years. On top of that, Duke Harbaugh, the county’s fleet manager, has put together a seven-year plan in which the county would save an additional $142,000 over the first seven years for the county’s central fleet and highway department vehicles. 

Other government agencies around the country are jumping on board with Enterprise’s program. Cattaraugus County New York, for example, expects to save nearly $400,000 in its 2018 budget by leasing 31 vehicles rather than buying them outright.

True the county would not own the vehicles, at least initially. But the Enterprise idea would greatly reduce the county’s maintenance costs to keep vehicles on the road and capital outlay.

The greatest news in all of this is the county would most likely save money without having to increase the general tax levy.  

In this day and age, shrinking budgets are happening all over the place, and organizations are being asked to tighten their budgets. It’s not easy to come across something that will provide such significant savings as the Enterprise proposal seems to offer.

County officials continue to crunch the numbers to make sure this will benefit the county overall. And so far they’re not finding any drawbacks to jumping on board with this concept. 

It’s refreshing to see county officials like Rose and Harbaugh have found something that will help bring some budget relief to the county. They truly care about what’s best for Dodge County.

The Enterprise deal seems to be a no-brainer, and we hope board members agree by implementing it countywide.

After all, providing savings to taxpayers is never a bad thing and shouldn’t be overlooked.

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
507-583-4431
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
507-634-7503
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
507-634-2661
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

 

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