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HomeNewsQuesnel City Council adopts new policy to replace aging fleet

Quesnel City Council adopts new policy to replace aging fleet

Mayor Bob Simpson says for decades there hasn’t been an appropriate replacement cycle for the city’s fleet…

“The problem in the past is that mobile equipment, all of our trucks, particularly some of our service trucks, pickup trucks, garbage trucks, etc are the easiest things for Council members to discount over roads, water, sewer, sidewalks or even other amenities, investments like playgrounds etc, so for far too long, decades, the City of Quesnel’s fleet has not been replaced in a manner that any other corporate entity would regard as an appropriate replacement cycle.”

As a result Simpson says they’ve decided to divorce Council involvement in the fleet replacement, and simply make it part of the capital plan process…

‘We do our capital plan over a five year cycle, we do other things that really shouldn’t be politicized by way of policy and by way of long term planning, so we’re making sure that we do that with fleet because what we now have is a very large bill in front of us because previous Councils have successively said we’re not funding on a normal replacement cycle.”

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Simpson says they’ve settled on a ten year plan with the idea of building up the mobile fleet reserve over time…

“So about year five or six the fund becomes self sustaining, we’ll be putting enough away each year to be able to then have the plan continue without incremental taxation, or potentially future loans.”

Simpson says the loan with the Municipal Finance Authority will be for five years and any tax increases won’t be known until after the budget process, although he says it won’t be a lot…

“We’re talking in the less than one percent, around .5 percent, based on if we had to fully fund everything in the plan without some other reserves we have, or without some other financial planning that we’re doing.”

Simpson says there will likely be operational savings as well as they plan to use new technology to be able to better manage the fleet…

“It’s called Telemetrics, it involves GPS and some feedback mechanisms from our plows, our garbage trucks, our sanders etc, that will allow us to deploy our equipment more effectively, will give us information about the maintenance cycle and the utilization of the fleet, and in many communities the institution of that kind of technology, plus a replacement cycle that keeps your fleet modern, resulted in pretty significant operational savings.”

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