Jun 4, 2013 7:40 PM by Andy Koen

City moves ahead with outsourcing of fleet maintenance

COLORADO SPRINGS - Roughly five dozen mechanics who work on the police cars, dump trucks and other specialized vehicles as part of the City of Colorado Springs Fleet Maintenance Division could have a new boss next year. In order to save money, the plans to outsource the maintenance of 4,500 of its vehicles as well as those owned by Colorado Springs Utilities

"Many citizens have asked for us to find monies to provide services and so I feel good about it from a business standpoint, said Laura Neumann, the city's Chief Administrative Officer. "As a compassionate leader of people, you have some heavy heart over that decision."

Her heavy heart is related to the timing of the deal. Some employees might be out of work around New Years Eve when the changeover is projected to take place.
There's no guarantee they will be hired by the new company, but Neumann is hopeful.

"We had some meetings with all of the firms and they all expressed desire to retail city fleet," she said. "Who wouldn't? They're great quality people, they know the equipment, and they've been with us many years."

The deal is expected save the city around $2 million over three years. If the workers aren't hired, the city will pay them up to 8 weeks of severance plus six months of health and dental coverage.

They will still receive some severance even if they are hired. However, Neumann expects those employees to be covered by the company's insurance. Their overall pay will likely be lower because of differences in retirement benefits.

"They certainly would not have the PERA benefit that we have from a city standpoint, probably something closer to a 401K," Neumann said. "So, there's some savings in the total compensation to the employees."

Negotiations between the city and the prospective contractor are expected to take up to 90 days.



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