City/county interlocal agreement for fleet maintenance possible?
City Manager Gary King said an interlocal agreement with Lee County to maintain Cape Coral’s fleet would depend largely on the county’s “appetite” for the proposal, and at this time he’s only looking to have City Council approve purchase orders beyond his spending limit of $50,000 for future repair issues, should they arise.
King said Monday that Lee County Fleet Maintenance has specially certified “Emergency Vehicle Technicians” who worked on the four pieces of equipment already repaired, certifications that members of Cape fleet maintenance do not possess
King added that he was still “compiling” information about where and how the equipment had fallen into a serious state of disrepair, but added that the responsibility might lie with fleet and not the fire department.
“The first place you would look is fleet maintenance,” King said.
Of the four pieces of equipment already repaired, King said two were “in the field” while the other two were “back-up” pieces of equipment.
Eighteen additional vehicles identified by Bill Towler in his report are classified by King as being “in service” and awaiting inspection.
Assistant Lee County Manager Pete Winton said the county was working on a “case by case” basis with the city, much like it does with out municipalities when they need the help.
Winton could not verify if the other 18 city vehicles were awaiting inspection and repair — Fleet Services Director Marilyn Rawlings was unavailable for comment — but did say the county did enter into a “verbal agreement” in January of this year to provide assistance to the city.
“We agreed to a case by case basis as long as we had the capacity,” Winton said. “We didn’t want to get into the business of being the city’s fleet maintenance department … we didn’t want a long-term commitment.”
County Commissioner John Manning said he’d wished he had been informed of the work as the district representative, but said there was nothing unusual about the arrangement.
Manning said the count did the work “at full cost,” and didn’t think there was any outstanding work to be completed.
Should the city and county ever clash over an interlocal agreement that is little more than an idea at this point, King said there were other options available.
He praised Lee’s fleet maintenance, calling them “prestigious” for the recognition they’ve received, but said the city could look elsewhere if needed.
“We could focus on Charlotte County or private industry as well as beefing up our internal resources,” King said.
Looking at the city’s fire department vehicles could be the start of much larger assessment of the mechanical condition of all the city’s assets, he added.
“I think it begs the question, we must satisfy ourselves and assess everything,” King said. “It warrants being validated.”