City seeks fleet management options
KANKAKEE — The Kankakee administration is looking to get out of the vehicle business and is seeking an outside company to manage and maintain its 50-plus fleet of vehicles.
And if a proposal from Oak Brook-based Enterprise Fleet Management gains traction, the city might be out of the car-, van- and truck-purchasing business as soon as the end of the year.
At the recent Kankakee City Council’s Budget Committee meeting, council members heard a proposal from Drew Kellogg, Enterprise’s senior account executive. Basically, the proposal would hand over management of the city’s 52-vehicle fleet to Enterprise.
The city no longer would purchase vehicles, but instead would lease them on a five-year rotation schedule. Enterprise also would be responsible for maintenance of the entire fleet, from oil changes to new tires or brakes or a new transmission.
In Kellogg’s presentation, he said Kankakee would save $172,550 during its first 10 years of the program. When the value of 52 current fleet vehicles are sold, for a projected $218,000 from 2018 through 2022, the total savings for the city would be $390,550, he said.
The fleet includes vehicles for the mayor, some department leaders, police and fire command cars, code enforcement and utility services. The fleet, which would be managed by Enterprise, would not include police squad cars, fire trucks, ambulances or the large public works trucks.
The goal, Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong stated, is to steer the city away from making large capital purchases for vehicles and away from expensive maintenance.
Leasing vehicles also would allow the city to have much newer and reliable vehicles on the road.
Effectively, the city would have vehicles no older than five years of age under this new plan. Currently, 46 percent of the city’s current light- and medium-duty fleet is older than 10 years.
This statistic regarding older vehicles means the city pays more in fuel costs and maintenance. Currently, the city pays just over $75,000 to fuel these vehicles.
Kellogg said once all the existing 52 vehicles are phased out, the city’s fuel cost is projected to drop to $47,000, a $28,000 savings.
Under the plan presented by Enterprise, the city could lease up to 11 vehicles a year for the first five years in order to swap out its fleet.
Kellogg said the vehicles would be ordered per city specifications.
Kellogg said Enterprise manages fleets for about 900 governmental units across the country. Among Enterprise’s 18 governmental clients in Illinois are Chicago; Romeoville; Crystal Lake; Freeport; Winnebago; and Rock Island.
In total, Enterprise maintains about 2,000 governmental vehicles in Illinois.
Kellogg said Enterprise specializes in outfitting public fleets ranging in size from 25 to 300 vehicles.
While the budget committee was pleased with the projected savings, members said they would like to see other bids from competing fleet management systems.
“I don’t know if this is a good price or a bad price,” said Ald. Larry Osenga, R-3. “This is like a no-bid contract.”
Committee Chairman Dennis Baron, R-6, said the city would gain an opinion from its legal counsel regarding the bid question.
City comptroller Elizabeth Kubal noted Enterprise had been selected as the preferred vendor by the the National Joint Powers Alliance for the procurement of the Fleet Management Services.
She also noted this is a new concept locally.
“We’ve never done anything like this. They will manage our entire fleet. We are outsourcing our entire fleet.
It is anticipated this plan could moved onto the city council agenda in December. If the leasing plan is approved, the city likely would have its first 11 new vehicles within 30-60 days.