Eastpointe accepts Enterprise Fleet Management deal

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 14, 2019


EASTPOINTE — The City Council of Eastpointe voted May 8 to accept a contract with Enterprise Fleet Management to aid the city in the purchasing, sales and maintenance of most of its Department of Public Safety vehicles.

The new arrangement will include Enterprise aiding the city by using its dedicated programs of tracking vehicle uses and their worth to determine when the best time to buy a new vehicle would be and when a vehicle belonging to the city can be resold for the best value.

“We’ll be providing vehicles for the city, we’ll be managing their maintenance, we will be providing them with a fuel solution plan and providing them with a software system that tracks vehicle data, as well as a GPS system for each vehicle,” explained Steve Conway, a fleet account executive with Enterprise. “It gives the city options to add or reduce the amount of vehicles in their fleet without significantly affecting their budget. It also provides safer vehicles since they’re getting new vehicles more often.”

The deal encompasses all police cruisers and the Eastpointe fire chief’s vehicle. Larger vehicles, such as firetrucks, are not included.

“This will cover marked and unmarked patrol and detective vehicles,” said Eastpointe Director of Public Safety George Rouhib. “Setting up a purchasing cycle will reduce costs — including maintenance costs — and allow us to get new vehicles every few years, which is important because you don’t want officers responding to emergencies in older, potentially unreliable vehicles.”

Enterprise will track the value of vehicles so it can tell the city when to resell them. This means that the extra cost of getting new vehicles will be offset by the higher profit from the sale of the old vehicles. Enterprise Fleet Management also gets extra cost reductions from certain dealers due to the volume of its purchases, which a city such as Eastpointe could never get due to its smaller size.

“The city can capture the money from the resale of the vehicles, and because we are reselling them earlier in their lifespan, we can capture more resale money. This means the city will be getting newer vehicles more often without additional costs.”

Additionally, with Enterprise monitoring fuel use, the company can advise Eastpointe about the state of the city’s vehicles with more accuracy.

“The fuel is purchased with fuel cards, and any employee in the city can fuel up at any fuel site in the city using them,” said Conway. “This has them punch in the mileage each time as well, which allows us, and thus the city, to track the data for each vehicle more accurately.”

The council voted unanimously to accept the arrangement, citing the cost-saving benefits for the city while simultaneously ensuring that the vehicles that first responders are using are up to date and in good condition.

“We don’t have to go out and purchase new cars; Enterprise advises us on all of that,” Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley said. “The maintenance was a big boon, as was the new way we can handle gas for the vehicles. Enterprise giving us better results for the resale of vehicles also is a significant benefit for the city.”

The council was considering approving a contract that would include all non-large vehicles belonging to the city — excluding vehicles such as snowplows, fire engines and dump trucks. However, council members said they wished to try the program out with just the Department of Public Safety vehicles.

“We really don’t have a lot of problems with our other cars, so we decided to try it out with our Department of Public Safety vehicles, and if it’s cost-effective, we may likely use this program for all our city vehicles a year or two from now,” explained Pixley. “This is a one-year contract. The costs are variable depending on what our vehicle needs are, but it should most definitely be more affordable for the city.”

With Enterprise handling and monitoring the fuel usage for the city vehicles, Eastpointe can get rid of an aging underground gas tank, which has been used as a fueling station for city vehicles for decades.

“The tank was there to hold gas for all of our cars,” Pixley said. “Now we no longer need it. Everyone who drives a vehicle under the Enterprise program will just get gas from regular stations. The tank needed to be replaced one way or another, so this was good timing, as it allows us to get rid of it entirely without the cost of installing a new one.”

Pixley said the decision came after weighing the pros and cons of the decision for several weeks. She said that this deal ultimately will be a significant advantage for the city.

“We just had to review the expenses of the Police Department,” she said. “We looked at maintenance costs and how the department handles their vehicles. It always seems like we’re burning out an engine. The gas contract and maintenance contracts should do a lot of good.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.