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Six-month trial to determine if Landis employees may drive town’s vehicles home

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó The town departments have just six months to prove they can cut fuel consumption or possibly face charging employees to take town vehicles home.
The Board of Aldermen met last week and decided to charge 40 cents per mile to employees who drove town vehicles home. The money would be deducted from their paychecks. However, last week’s meeting brought up more questions.
In a Monday meeting that lasted less than an hour, the board voted to look at reducing fuel consumption in gallons for six months, starting in July and ending Jan. 1.
Department heads were instructed to do what they could to reduce consumption by 20 percent. The board will compare what was consumed around the same time last year and if this solution does not work, they’ll consider other measures.
Those other measures are what caused concern for employees. Town Administrator Reed Linn read a list of concerns prior to the final decision that includes:
– What if employees are on call?
– How do they handle multiple trips during emergency calls to and from home?- Would there be extra time at the beginning and conclusion of shifts to set up and take down equipment if employees parked cars?
– Would employees be reimbursed if they used their personal vehicles for town business?
– Payroll deductions are fixed, but mileage is not.
Of the above concerns, an employee being on call was the biggest.
Alderman Furr said his original intent was to get a grip on the everyday commute to work from home, specifically for employees who were off and did not have any other responsibilities that day.
“Any one of our employees is subject to call backs,” Police Chief Reggie Faggart said.
He added that if something happens in Landis, it will be handled by Landis Police. Faggart said many of his officers can’t afford to pay the mileage if they are charged to take their cruisers home.
Linn gave an example: a police officer, whom he did not name, who lives 26 miles from the town limits would pay $72 per pay period, if the board instated a price per mile. Another employee, whom he did not name, lives 30 miles away from the town limits and would pay $168 a pay period.
The board also discussed getting an electronic way to keep track of the gas the town vehicles are using. The board agreed with the need for some type of card reader to keep track at the pump of how much gas is being dispensed and by which department. No decision was made about actually purchasing the electronic monitoring system. Right now, the monitoring system requires that employees fill out paperwork, with the total gas used tallied at the end of the month.
Linn first brought up the idea of reducing fuel at the meeting a week ago. Alderman Roger Safrit reintroduced the idea Monday.
Alderman Tony Hilton said if the town did not have the savings needed, they’d have to look at parking the vehicles.

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