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Erie County to sell nearly 600 fleet vehicles and lease new ones

Erie County plans to sell nearly 600 passenger vehicles from its fleet, including some Sheriff's Office vehicles, and use the proceeds to enter into a vehicle leasing agreement from Enterprise Fleet Management.

The county administration expects the sale to save the county and Sheriff's Office more than $4 million over the course of a 10-year period.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz pointed out more than a third of the county's fleet of passenger vehicles is more than 10 years old, and one sheriff's van had racked up 495,000 miles. A lease agreement would result in lower maintenance costs and help the county bring newer vehicles online, he said. The agreement would not apply to heavy duty and commercial construction vehicles.

"The idea is twofold," Poloncarz said. "We reduce the maintenance costs, and as we know, the newer vehicles are more fuel-efficient than the older vehicles."

The proposal is being approved by the County Legislature.

More than a dozen other counties in the state, including Cattaraugus and Genesee, participate in a similar leasing program.

If Erie County participated in the program, it may be the largest county to do so. The county would be able to piggyback on the existing vehicle leasing bid, officials said.

Public Works Commissioner William Geary said the new leasing program would provide the county vehicles that are safer, more modern, more reliable and environmentally friendly. Regular county vehicles will be replaced as part of a five-year replacement program, though some vehicles could be replaced in two years. Sheriff's vehicles would be replaced as part of a four-year program.

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