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The city will begin leasing its vehicles after the council Tuesday approved an agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management.

“I feel confident that this will be a great program that will meet the needs of the city and provide staff with reliable, safe and newer vehicles that they utilize in their daily work,” City Manager Kelly Traynham said in her presentation to the panel.

For the police department, which will use the program to lease 14 Ford Explorer Interceptors, Chief Bobby Martin said today, “It is going to give us the ability to get newer patrol vehicles which we have been in need of for many years.”

Martin said the department has vehicles that date back to 2006 and 2007. “It’s going to help with our maintenance of vehicles. The safety of the (leased) vehicles is new and improved. The Explorers we’re getting give officers more room and give more stability.”

The police chief said the goal is ultimately to have a fleet of Dodge Durangos or the Interceptors as patrol vehicles.

Martin said as he has presented in previous meetings, “We will be able to cut our vehicle maintenance costs in half. Others who have gone with the program have dropped vehicle maintenance costs. Older vehicles require more maintenance.”

He said officers are on the move 24/7 and their vehicles serve as an office. “As we move forward and get newer vehicles we’re thankful the city manager and the council worked so hard on this. It’s a good thing for all departments in the city.”

The vehicle-leasing agreement is across all departments and had been under discussion for several meetings until Tuesday’s unanimous vote.

Council in June had given its approval to lease a trash truck.

The breakdown of vehicles to be leased other than those for the police department are as follows:

One staff vehicle for public works

Seven F-150s for public works

One F-250 for public works

One F-250 for the fire department

One staff vehicle for parks and recreation

One pickup for parks and recreation

Three small SUVs or sedans for planning and development