A County Fleet Department in Georgia has saved at least $500,000 in one year through downsizing and better fleet management, according to a story on OnlineAthens.com. Dwayne Collins, director of Oconee County’s Fleet Maintenance Program, has worked to eliminate unneeded vehicles from the county fleet during his eight years at the job. Last December an audit of the county’s assets showed that 22 vehicles did not serve any specific function for the county. They were auctioned off. As a result the county combined two departments into the Fleet Maintenance Department. The department serves as half maintenance shop and half vehicle clearinghouse. In the year since, it has saved at least $500,000 through better fleet management, said Jeff Benko, the county's finance director. Collins keeps a detailed maintenance history of every county vehicle, which allows him to keep track of a car's maintenance cost-per-mile and decide when a car should be sold. Collins reviewed the county's fleet to make sure that each car or truck was being used to fulfill the need it was best suited for. This year, Collins plans to decommission and refurbish about six police cars to be used by other county departments. The cruisers may have too much wear and tear to be cruisers, but they still could be used as, for example, a code enforcement vehicle. When department directors requested cars during this year's budget process, they went through the Fleet Maintenance Department. If their needs could be met with a refurbished police car - that's what they got, said Benko. Using refurbished cars saved the county close to $150,000 this year, according to the OnlineAthens.com story.