OCEAN CITY, MD - Ocean City Council's decision to remove take-home car privileges for 45 town employees is expected to save roughly $80,000, according to Delmarva Now.

Earlier estimates placed potential savings at about $50,000. City Manager Dennis Dare said commuting had accounted for 50 percent of a vehicle's cost, and this should drop it to about 30 percent.

City Manager Dennis Dare said the "right-sizing" means Ocean City won't have to resort to layoffs or furloughs as the state makes further cuts to municipal government aid.

The council unanimously adopted Dare's recommendation that 26 of 71 employees lose their municipally-owned vehicle for personal use, allowing the employee to use a vehicle only during regular business hours. The change takes effect Oct. 16.

According to Delmarva, those losing their take-home vehicle include:

  • Eighteen police detectives and senior staffers.
  • Assistant fire chief.
  • Four bomb squad members.
  • A dozen public workers managers.
  • Airport manager.
  • Golf course manager.
  • Communications employees.
  • Emergency services employee.
  • Two recreation department employees.
  • Town risk manager.

Two senior beach patrol employees also are slated to lose take-home privileges, but Dare said their vehicle privileges are different because of the seasonal nature of their job, and because the policy does allow for departmental directors to use take-home vehicles on a situational or event basis.

Those keeping vehicle privileges include the police chief, the fire chief, four volunteer chiefs, and the fire marshal and three members of his bomb squad. Others include the director of emergency management, the public works director, the city engineer, the director of parks and recreation, and Dare himself as city manager.

Seven undercover police officers and four K-9 police officers will be allowed to keep vehicles, as dictated by a police union agreement. Also, the town's program of lending patrol cars during the off-season to officers living in the resort is not expected to be impacted.

The idea to drop take-home car privileges was introduced in April and was to be reviewed by the council after the summer. Dare had asked employees keep a log over the summer about where they drove and for what purpose in their municipal vehicles, according to Delmarva.