VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – For the first time, the Virginia Beach vehicle fleet has been audited. The report looked at how city vehicles are used and how money could be saved.
“We like to look at areas we haven’t previously,” said Virginia Beach City Auditor Lyndon Remias.
One of those areas in Virginia Beach is its fleet of vehicles.
“At any given time, there are 300 to 400 just general-use vehicles,” Remias added.
There are specialty vehicles, too, including fire trucks, police cars and snow plows. The total number of city-owned vehicles is in the thousands.
The audit found in the past three years, 1,116 city vehicles were repaired after crashes. The total cost: $1,953,088 in taxpayer money. It was also found that $62,207 was due to neglect and abuse by city employees — something the auditor says needs to stop.
“Number one is obviously training,” Remias said. “Number two is holding the employees that are responsible accountable especially if it is abuse.”
57 vehicles were totaled in the past four years. Most of those were police cruisers.
The audit also looked at city vehicles that are rarely used. Remias would like to see those put in a lot where all employees could share.
“The employee from their desktop can reserve a car once you get the confirmation,” Remias added. “You go to the kiosk, you punch in the code, the key drops out and you utilize that vehicle when you need it on demand.”
Remias says this would cut down on buying new vehicles and maintenance costs. In the end, that would be good for the taxpayer.
“It adds up pretty quickly from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars,” Remias said.
The city manager’s office says Public Works and the City Garage are discussing the shared lot as part of the 2018 budget.