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City of Wilmington taking measures to lower fuel costs

The cost of filling up is draining wallets and it is not just having an impact on consumers. The city of Wilmington is also getting hit hard. The city has 225 vehicles in its fleet. That includes every department except fire. Now the city is looking for ways to cut back on gas usage as the price of fuel cuts into the bottom line. The City of Wilmington spends more than $1,000,000 a year on gas. Like most cities, it buys in bulk to keep costs down. But these days, it is still no bargain. Wilmington city spokesperson Malissa Talbert said, "As fuel prices started to increase, because we have so many vehicles we use to provide services, it was really having an impact on our budget." An email went out to everyone with a city vehicle. It recommended several fuel-saving measures like keeping vehicles properly maintained, avoiding long periods of idling, limiting air conditioner use, and driving slower. The city now uses biodiesel in its garbage and fire trucks. "We are also trying to move in the direction of having hybrid and electric vehicles as much as we can. Just in the past year, we have bought 10 hybrid vehicles," said Talbert. And starting next year, the city will put GPS devices inside its vehicles. Talbert said, "We can track, at a central location, if our drivers are using the most efficient route, how long they're there and when they're coming back." In addition to traditional fuel-saving measures, the WPD is encouraging more officers to walk as they patrol the streets, and the department is trying to maximize the use of police horses downtown. The police department allows officers to take patrol cars home for the evening. Many officers live outside the city limits. The department says there are no plans right now to restrict the take-home vehicle policy. "We negotiate every single week for the price of gas. We're just like everybody else, and we need to look for the cheapest price that we can find," said Talbert. City officials say if fuel prices continue to climb, they could resort to tighter restrictions like banning out-of-town travel.

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Fuel costs

How about switching from cars to bicycles. I used to live in Orlando & when the police dept. switched to bicycles the crime in Uptown Orlando decreased because they were able to ride through areas that cars are unable to go plus the police officers we in excellent shape. It saved a tremendous amount of money for the city & police dept.

lower fuel cost?

just raise the city tax rate by 25%. i'm sure that will cover the ever increasing cost.

Well the first step is to

Well the first step is to stop letting them take the cars home....We as in every day people that have to drive to work we have to drive our own cars to and from work so what makes them any different??? All the city is doing is making us pay so they can drive company cars home.And that way they save money out of thier pockets cause the CITY is paying for the gas..So solution ONE stop driving the cars home.It is that easy...Drive your own vehicle.And pay for your own GAS like we all have to do.Stop giving them special treatment b/c they are COPS.And dont get me wrong I love what they do for us but I am also a public worker but I dont get a company car or gas from my company so the solution is easy to fix just DO IT....

Who really cares

LEO are allowed to take home vehicles because they are somewhat available to be called out at a moments notice. If I don't have a vehicle at home they cannot force me to come to work unless they pick me up. I do not have a problem with LEO taking their cars home. Every job has a benefit to that job and take home cars are just one of those benefits. I know several people that have worked at other businesses that are allowed to take home their vehicles....who really cares? Only those that want something to complain about

Taking city vehicles home

The IRS agrees with you, that it's a perk that most people don't have. Unless there is an underlying reason that benefits the city, the IRS requires that employees be taxed for the fair value of being allowed to drive a vehicle to and from work. However, people such as police officers and other critical personnel subject to immediate recall during off-hours are normally exempt from having to pay the tax, as it is in the city's best interests to insure they are available when needed.