GRAND RAPIDS, MI - In efforts to trim $6.5 million from its proposed 2010 budget, Kent County officials are reviewing whether all 73 of its take-home vehicles are needed, according to The Grand Rapids Press.
County Commissioner Dean Agee, Grand Rapids Township, who chairs the Finance and Physical Resources Committee, said he believes the county owns too many vehicles. His committee is reviewing whether reducing the number of county-owned vehicles is feasible.
The take-home cars have come under fire from workers at the Kent County Jail, where Sheriff Larry Stelma has proposed privatizing food services and eliminating the equivalent of 33 full-time positions to meet budget targets set by the County Commission.
As the county's largest department, the sheriff's department has 48 take-home vehicles. Stelma has said they are used by command officers, detectives, and others who are on call around-the-clock. Agee said he suspects most of the vehicles are necessary, particularly those used by law enforcement, but wants to conduct the review with 145 positions being considered for elimination countywide next year.