How buying a used car can save $10,000

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:04

Township figures way to trim gas and mileage expenses, By Tom Hoffman WANTAGE - At their last budget meeting, Wantage Township Committee members were considering a plan to change the mileage reimbursement program for municipal employees who use their personal vehicles on town business. The current reimbursement rate is 50 cents per mile. Town officials figured they could save taxpayers money by changing the rate to a gallon of gas for every 15 miles of driving. Instead, they have decided to change course with a new plan designed to save even more money. At the committee’s Feb. 26 meeting, they decided to buy a used car. Committee members unanimously approved Township Administrator Jim Doherty’s recommendation to use grant funding obtained in recent years from the New Jersey Clean Communities program and other sources to buy a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. The car — to be purchased for $6,000 from Frank Siena’s Auto Mall in New Hampton, N.Y. — would be used by Kevin Kervatt to enforce the township’s recycling program. According to a Web site for the program through which the funds came, grants can be used for “education programs to promote clean communities.” As such, said Doherty, the township would be entitled to use its grant to buy the Chevy for Kervatt’s use. He serves as the Wantage Township recycling coordinator and its zoning officer. Kervatt is not the only township employee who is reimbursed for mileage under the current program. There are a few others, including Ed Vander berg, who is Wantage’s emergency management coordinator. He uses his own car, too, and the town could consider a future purchase to offset mileage reimbursements, according to Doherty. But, a savings here is compounded by the fact that the township has its own gas pumps and pays approximately $1.25 per gallon through a cooperative pricing agreement. The township’s vehicle would be gassed up there. It was also noted that the township is under no legal obligation to reimburse employees for mileages. Buying a car Using the grant money to buy another vehicle for township use as opposed to changing the town’s mileage reimbursement program “would definitely save us money in the long run,” said Wantage Committeeman Bill DeBoer. DeBoer is the owner of DeBoer Auto Sales in Franklin Township, and the committee steered clear of making the purchase through his firm. Doherty estimated that buying the car with the grant money would reduce the township’s operating budget by $10,000. Wantage Township Mayor Parker Space stressed that the vehicle is for township use only and wouldn’t be used for Kervatt or any other municipal employee “to take home or drive home.”