WAILUKU >> Maui has reduced the number of employees who take home county-owned vehicles.
The number of employees taking home county-owned vehicles dropped 52 percent to 80, Managing Director Keith Regan told the Maui County Council’s budget and finance committee Tuesday. He said that before a new policy went into effect in July 2012, employees were taking home 165 county-owned vehicles.
The policy stems from a 2010 report that cited concerns about the high number of vehicles and poor inventory record-keeping, the Maui News reported. The county could save nearly $33 million by improving management of its fleet, the report said.
“That’s a very impressive level of reduction,” said committee Chairman Mike White.
While county departments have fully complied with the policy, some employees of the Department of Water Supply are challenging the loss of take-home vehicles based on a 1993 union arbitration decision.
The water department has the most take-home vehicles with 52, down from 61 previously.
Regan said water employees often need to respond to water main breaks in the middle of the night. The administration is working with the water department to “come up with a realistic way to address take-home vehicles,” he said.
Other departments have seen a drop in take-home vehicles. They include the Department of Environmental Management, which went down to six vehicles from 42, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, which went down to seven vehicles from 36.
County employees who use their private vehicles for county business can be reimbursed for mileage at a rate of 56.5 cents per mile.
The county installed Global Positioning System devices on 504 vehicles, which provide information such as how fast a vehicle is driven and its gas mileage. “I think it will help us manage our costs,” Regan said.