County’s vehicle policy changes
Summit County officials are cracking down on employees who drive home government-owned vehicles.
County Manager Bob Jasper said he wants to cut costs by requiring employees to pay to drive their county vehicles home if they live outside Summit County.
"We have a variety of people now who take home vehicles," Jasper said.
Summit County owns about 164 vehicles, according to the Summit County Auditor’s Office.
Most of the employees with take-home vehicles are Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
"Any county employee taking a vehicle home outside the county will reimburse the county at a rate of $50 per month," the new policy states. "No county vehicles may be taken home outside a 35-mile radius of the Summit County line."
Also, no county employee may use a government vehicle for personal use, Jasper said.
"You take it home and you park it," Jasper said. "You can’t go to the store. You can’t take your family out to dinner. It’s a convenience so you can get back and forth."
Employees at the Summit County Animal Control department are no longer allowed to drive their vehicles at night.
Meanwhile, Summit County Councilman John Hanrahan said he is concerned about deputies who drive their patrol vehicles as far as the Salt Lake Valley.
"It’d be nice to recover all of the costs, but I don’t think we can reasonably do that," Hanrahan said.
Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds insists he must tap applicant pools along the Wasatch Front to hire top-shelf officers.
"[Edmunds’] view is, he needs qualified people and it’s expensive to live here I’m comfortable with what he and I worked out," Jasper said. "There have been some who wish that we have lots more local deputies."
Deputies who drive their cruisers outside Summit County must "respond to all ‘call out’ requests within 60 minutes or less," the new policy states.
"Part of the argument with deputies is that they are always on duty," Jasper said.
The new policy makes exceptions for some managers and employees who are on call.
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A crash between a pickup truck and passenger vehicle on Wednesday sent a woman to the hospital and shut down S.R. 32 for about an hour.