New vehicle policy nets savings for city

Communications Deputy Director

Eric Vreeland
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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New vehicle policy nets savings for city

Posted: 08/23/2004
Mayor Bill Haslam announced today a new policy related to city-owned vehicles driven home by employees that will save taxpayers over $100,000 annually.

"The new policy emphasizes that the assignment of a city-owned vehicle for 24-hour use must be 'advantageous' to the city government, which is the same standard used by the federal government and much of the private sector," Mayor Haslam said.

"The execution of this policy will save taxpayers a significant amount of money not only this year, but also in future years as vehicle purchases and maintenance are recurring costs that increase each year," he said.

The policy eliminates about two-thirds of drive-home vehicles in non-law enforcement departments effective Jan. 1, 2005.

A large portion of the savings resulting from this policy will be invested in the city's new wellness program for employees, which is designed to reduce the skyrocketing costs of health-care and workers compensation claims and insurance.

"This investment in the health of city employees, particularly giving them the education and tools to take better care of themselves, will pay off by reducing the number of health insurance claims, ultimately resulting in significant decreases in future health insurance cost," Mayor Haslam said.

Criteria for deciding whether an employee will be assigned a drive-home vehicle include:

The employee's job requires the employee to be on call for job-related emergencies on a regular basis each week The employee utilizes a vehicle equipped with GPS, communications link and data terminal that dispatches employee to do work and he or she can reply with results without traveling to the office The employee's job requires extensive travel outside of Knox County A drive-home vehicle was a condition of employment and the Mayor approved such agreement.

In each case, it must be determined that the assignment of the city-owned vehicle for drive home or 24-hour use is advantageous to the city.