There are many priorities for mayors and cities, but the environment and finding ways to save money are two that remain important in any situation. When I took office in 2008, I issued an executive order to reduce emissions of pollutants into the air by using more hybrid and alternative fuels in our City vehicle fleet – which consists of about 1,800 police, fire, public works and city utility vehicles. Our innovative techniques to make our fleet more efficient are preserving the environment and reducing costs, because we are spending less on fuel.
Our successes are capturing national attention every year – and this fall we received more recognition. Our fleet has been named as the No. 12 Government Green Fleet in North America by Government Fleet magazine.
In addition to the award for our Green Fleet, Larry Campbell, city director of fleet management, recently received a separate award from Green Fleet magazine for being an All Star leader in green fleet sustainability.
“The Fort Wayne fleet was ranked for efficiency in repairing and re-using their vehicles; for being among the first Midwestern fleets to incorporate hybrid vehicles into its fleet (dating back to 2004) and actively coming up with ways to reduce its carbon footprint,” Campbell said. “The city has been running B-20 (20 percent soybean oil) in diesel engines since 2005 and E-85 (85 percent ethanol or homegrown fuels) in police vehicles for more than last three years. More than 300 city vehicles now use biodiesel fuel.”
Larry has been director of fleet management for the city since 2003 and has 31 years of experience working with private and municipal fleets. He has made it his mission to look for ways to implement new environmentally-friendly initiatives that improve performance and save the city money.
Green Fleet magazine recognized Fort Wayne as being the first municipal fleet in the Indiana to install an idle reduction program with diesel engines, using software developed by manufacturers. The magazine also recognized the City’s use of a first-of-its-kind hybrid sewer flusher truck designed in collaboration with the City, International Truck and the Eaton Corporation. The truck is designed to be fuel efficient, yet powerful enough to clean city sewer lines.
Fort Wayne was the only Indiana municipality listed among the 40 government fleets that bestowed Green Awards. We proudly accept these honors and pledge to continue increasing our efficiency with green initiatives.
No doubt, many of you have seen some of our fleet vehicles and city workers along Bluffton Road, recently. I’m happy to report the crews were surveying in preparation for new sidewalks that will be installed next spring. The sidewalks are planned along Bluffton, from Maplewood to Dale Drive. I’m sure they will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Before I go, I’d like to give a special thanks to volunteers and Waynedale.com for just completing the Waynedale.com Visitors Guide. It is available online at: waynedale.com/guide/ or free in a printed version at Waynedale restaurants and the library. It’s a great service and asset for the community.