Due to recent concerns about vehicle and fuel usage by Dorchester County Government, I want to inform the public about some of the actions that have been taken in the last 12 months to control vehicle usage and fuel consumption.
- Vehicle log – During the budget process for the current fiscal year, FY 2011-2012, Dorchester County completed a two week study where employees were required to log their use of county vehicles and have the log verified by their supervisors.
- GPS Units Deployed – During the last fiscal year and the current fiscal year, the County deployed GPS units in several departments including Code Enforcement (environmental officers, animal control officers, and business license officers) in May 2011, Building Services in August 2011, Public Works (Transportation, Solid Waste and Storm water) in August 2011 andWater and Sewer in April 2011. Emergency Medical Services has used GPS since 2006.
- GPS Units Monitored – Employees have been separated from employment with DorchesterCounty or disciplined because of their misuse of County vehicles which was verified by GPS and fuel reports.
- Monitoring fuel reports – In January, 2012, the County Administrator reviewed fuel logs and saw that some employees were not entering the mileage data when refueling, and all Department Heads were directed to investigate and report back regarding the reason, and to discipline any employees who were willfully omitting the information. All Elected andAppointed Officials were asked to take similar action.
Because fuel is one of the County’s most critical expenses, we do everything possible to reduce our consumption. Between FY2010 and FY2012, fuel consumption has decreased by approximately 34,000 gallons.
The Administrator’s Office reviews all travel requests and frequently requests that employees carpool. Recently, the County partnered with Tri-CountyLink to provide a public transit route between Summerville and St. George, and our employees are using this service whenever possible. In addition, we have made a conscientious effort to not increase our fleet of vehicles. We have a policy of one in, one out, whereby old vehicles must be turned in for resale when new vehicles are purchased. In FY2010-2011, we sold vehicles and equipment for $575,155 and in FY2011-2012 we sold vehicles and equipment for 103,541 on GovDeals.com, and those revenues go back into our capital fund. We have also purchased more fuel efficient vehicles countywide, and that has assisted with decreasing consumption.
County Administrator Jason Ward wrote this op/ed.