Johnson County gets green with cars, saves taxpayers money

Published: Jan. 5, 2018 at 7:23 PM CST
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Johnson County says it has found a way to make the county a little greener while saving taxpayers a little green.

The county is slowly switching their fleet of cars to electric and hybrids. They use them to make work trips around the state. Better gas mileage is just one of the ways they're balancing the budget.

"Save the county taxpayers' money and to lighten our carbon footprint in the process," said Mike Carberry with the Johnson County Board of Supervisors.

Carberry said any department can sign the cars out for work trips. He said the vehicles will help cut costs on travel for county employees.

"Greening of our fleet and greening of the county isn't just a fad, it's a way of life and it's a way of doing business," said Carberry.

Carberry said the county's three year old fleet department is helping cut maintenance costs. Before then, each department had to take care of their own cars or take them out to be serviced.

"They also don't have to worry about who's got the cheapest oil change and do I need to save a coupon? Oh there's a coupon in the paper for a cheap oil change. We don't have to do that because it's being done internally," said Carberry.

"More economical to have one location. To have them all meet here and that way we've got billing and everything else set up," said Joey Lande, the Johnson County Fleet Maintenance Supervisor.

The Fleet Department said it's easier to keep track of a Seats bus' mileage, or a Sheriff's deputy car's intervals. Now every oil change, tire change, and all other services are done in house.

"Just the stability and the ease of maintenance. We know exactly who is working on the vehicles and what is being done," said Lande.

Carberry said they have also added some electric charging stations in one of the employee lots at the Johnson County Administration Building.

"The taxpayer eventually pays all of our bills so if we can save money by being more sustainable and using less resources, then the taxpayer wins and Mother Earth wins," said Carberry.

Carberry said the county is considering options to add to their green fleet or adding other electric charging stations in public lots at county buildings.