The city of Boise in 2015 was proud to boast that its Fleet Services—consisting of approximately 1,500 vehicles for public safety, maintenance and administration—had been singled out as the No. 1 fleet in the nation among leading government vehicle fleets. City Clerk Craig Croner flew to Denver to pick up the award at the June 2015 Government Fleet Expo and Conference. According to expo judges, Boise Fleet Services topped similar departments in thousands of other cities by "staying efficient and competitive, overcoming challenges, and having a vision and direction for the fleet."
Boise Fleet Services' latest challenge isn't getting as much media coverage. In the past three months, Croner has had to turn to the City Council for two separate cash increases to fund repairs stemming from a growing number of crashes involving city vehicles. Since November 2015, the council has been asked to approve a whopping 80 percent increase to pay for bodywork and painting of city vehicles.
Nobody is saying who's responsible for the wrecks, but an internal memo to the council from city of Boise Purchasing Manager Colin Millar stated there have been "unforeseen vehicle collision incidents."
In 2014, Boise awarded an annual $100,000 contract to Harold's Auto Body to handle repairs and painting for the city's fleet. The contract came with four annual renewals and the city renewed the deal in February 2015. But in November 2015, Croner and Millar were surprised to see a 65 percent increase in repair and painting costs. That's when Millar first went before the council to ask for a $65,000 change order to the contract. Millar said the city had used independent claims administrator Idaho Intermountain Claims to calculate repair estimates before turning to Harold's to start fixing the vehicles.
Three months later, on Feb. 2, Millar returned to the council, saying the $65,000 increase he asked for in November wasn't enough—to the tune of $15,000 more per year.
"The average has increased, requiring the need to do a second change order to the contract," Millar said. "Change order two ... will increase the contract to $180,000, which represents an overall increase of 80 percent."