Date: March 3, 2023
Author: Michael Morris, The Facts
Location: Angleton, TX
“The city’s relationship with Enterprise Fleet Management is paying dividends for Angleton in multiple ways, city council learned this week.
Stephen Campbell of Enterprise lauded the city’s attention to maintaining the vehicles it receives through the program, which extends their life and helps their resale value, he said during council’s meeting Wednesday night. The city also benefits from a flat-rate agreement for maintenance services, given vehicle maintenance expenses have gone up 17 percent since last year, Campbell said.
The city and Enterprise started their partnership in 2021, through which Angleton leases the vehicles for a certain period. When that period expires, they return to Enterprise, which sells them and rebates the equity to the city, meaning Angleton has a newer, more reliable fleet at a lower cost, Campbell said.
The priority for the next purchase is police vehicles, City Manager Chris Whittaker said. However, those will be challenging because of production issues with the Chevrolet Tahoe, the favored vehicle for patrol SUVs. Delays in vehicle orders are compounded by the lag in the aftermarket equipment, such as emergency light bars, which can take four to seven months to arrive, Campbell said.
Angleton’s spruced-up fleet has gained the notice of at least one resident, Councilman Cecil Booth said.
“I had a conversation with a resident,” a chuckling Booth began. “He was complaining the city had purchased all these brand-new trucks and going into debt and on and on until once I explained to him we were not purchasing these vehicles. We’re leasing these vehicles, and when we get rid of the vehicles they sell those vehicles, we get money back.
“And he’s like, ‘Oh … That’s a good idea.’”
The city’s flexibility has helped both sides of the agreement, Campbell and Whittaker said. For instance, last year, Angleton received Chevrolet Silverado pickups, but when it went to purchase more, only Dodge Ram 1500s were available, and the city didn’t hesitate to make the switch, while those who are waiting for preferred models are paying the price.
“Those people who waited two or three years, their maintenance is decreasing, and their equity is decreasing. They put themselves in a hole,” Campbell said. “One day, we can get back to what we prefer, but until then, it’s what makes sense.”
Delaying purchases also paid off for the city as it received a $188,000 rebate, Campbell said.
Attention to maintenance is benefiting city business, too. Angleton sends the vehicles to preferred Enterprise shops, of which eight are in the city, helping keep city dollars at home.”