Norfolk mulls savings from fleet expansion

Norfolk council received a report Aug. 22 saying more county vehicles on the road could produce cost-savings. The analysis has been forwarded to Norfolk’s budget committee for further review.

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Fleet expansion could be in the cards now that Norfolk has hard numbers on which employees should have a county vehicle at their disposal.

Using conservative estimates for costs associated with operating a vehicle, Norfolk staff say it makes economic sense to provide a vehicle to employees who log 14,800 kilometres or more a year.

A report to Norfolk council Aug. 22 noted that each of the county’s five bylaw enforcement officers will drive 25,000 kilometres in a typical year.

As well, each of Norfolk’s four primary building inspectors will drive about 27,000 kilometres a year.

The report identifies these job classifications “as prime candidates for the highest return on investment in deployment of vehicles.

“The analysis in those areas supports the deployment of five vehicles to be used by five bylaw officers as well as four vehicles to be used by the four building inspectors who are now required to do the majority of inspections.”

Norfolk expects its employees to claim compensation for slightly more than one million kilometres this year. Council increased the per-kilometre compensation rate in June from 45.5 cents to 54 cents.

This was the county’s first mileage rate adjustment since 2014. This places the county’s annual mileage reimbursement budget in the range of $540,000.

The report was forwarded to Norfolk’s budget committee for further discussion. A nine-vehicle expansion of the county fleet could be on the agenda of council’s budget deliberations in January.

If that’s council’s choice, Mayor Kristal Chopp suggested procuring Toyota vehicles as a means of supporting a Norfolk-based industry. Further savings may be realized, Chopp added, if Norfolk opts for vehicles with an electrical component.

More decisions in this area could be forthcoming.