City considers new taxi
Damaged vehicle also has bad transmission
By Bert Lehman
The city of Clintonville may buy a new vehicle for its taxi service.
The purchase would be included in the 2018 Capital Improvement Program budget.
City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the Transit Committee at its Sept. 11 meeting that the city received a check from its insurance company to cover the repairs for one of the taxis that was involved in an accident a couple of months ago.
She said after discussing the matter with Dick Koeppen, whom the city contracts with to operate the city’s taxi service, she was made aware that the same vehicle also has a bad transmission.
Eveland said that when considering the amount of money needed to repair the transmission in the vehicle, in addition to the money to repair the damage from the accident, and the cost of new tires for the vehicle, it might make more financial sense to purchase a new vehicle.
The state of Wisconsin pays for the vast majority of a new vehicle, Eveland added.
Koeppen provided the committee with information about the city’s taxi fleet.
The newest vehicle is a 2010 model.
“The city fell way behind on purchasing taxis and this is what happened, we have three junkers right now,” Koeppen said. “I don’t blame the city because of budgets, tough times and all those types of things.”
The 2010 model is the vehicle Eveland referred to earlier in the meeting. It was purchased March 5, 2010. It has 92,759 miles, which is the lowest of the city’s three taxi vehicles, Koeppen said.
Even though the vehicle was in an accident, it is drivable and it hasn’t been fixed yet. As stated, after the accident the city found out the transmission in the vehicle is bad.
“We’ve made some adjustments on it. We’re still using it. It can’t go over 35 miles per hour,” Koeppen said.
Koeppen said after discussing the situation with Eveland they decided it might be best to replace that vehicle with the new taxi vehicle the city recently received. Eveland said this vehicle was budgeted for purchase two years ago, and the city just received it.
The main taxi vehicle that is used is a 2008 Chrysler van that was purchased Jan. 23, 2009. This vehicle has 123,821 miles on it and is still road worthy.
“The question is how long is it going to go with 123,000 miles on it?” Koeppen said.
Koeppen said the oldest taxi in the fleet is a 2003 van that was purchased by the city on Oct. 6, 2003. It has over 100,000 miles on it. The exhaust system needs to be replaced on this vehicle.
“Taxi miles in a small town are really tough,” Koeppen said. “It’s braking, turning and hard on the tires.”
Eveland said if the city decided to purchase a new vehicle, roughly $6,000 would not be reimbursed by the state of Wisconsin.
She added that it might make more sense financially to not repair the accident-damaged taxi or repair the transmission, and have the city pay its portion of $6,000 for a new taxi. This would give the city two new taxi vehicles for service.
Under this scenario, the taxi in the best condition in the fleet would be kept as a backup and the other two would be considered surplus, Eveland said. Of the two that are considered surplus, she said there is some consideration to keep the one in the best condition as a shuttle vehicle for the airport.
Committee member Lance Bagstad asked where the funds would come from to cover the city’s portion of $6,000.
Eveland said the insurance check is a little over $2,000, which could be used for a new taxi vehicle.
She added that she thinks she can budget the remaining funds that are needed in the city’s 2018 Capital Improvement Plan.
Bagstad asked Koeppen if he could wait until 2018 for a new taxi vehicle.
“It would be nice if that taxi could be delivered sometime in 2018,” Koeppen responded.
The committee unanimously approved recommending to the city’s Finance Committee that the city purchase an ADA van to be used for taxi service through the Capital Improvement Program as soon as possible in the fiscal year 2018.