Jefferson County Government and Jefferson County Schools Announce Joint Initiative For Vehicle Maintenance

Jefferson County Government and Jefferson County Schools are excited to announce a joint initiative designed to more efficiently manage the maintenance of county owned automobiles and buses. The plan calls for the current county garage that maintains many of the automobiles owned by Jefferson County to absorb the workload associated with maintaining the bus fleet for Jefferson County Schools.

The mayor and director of schools have spent the last several weeks studying a plan that would allow the county school buses and school owned automobiles to be repaired at the county garage located off Grove Road in Dandridge.

Under this plan, the mechanics currently working in the school garage located on Dumplin Valley Road will report to work at the county garage located off Grove Road in Dandridge. All other activities associated with the Jefferson County Schools Transportation Department will remain at the Dumplin Valley Road location and under the supervision of the school transportation supervisor.

Mr. Eric Large, current Maintenance Shop Director, of the county garage will serve as the immediate supervisor for all the mechanics/employees at the Grove Road location. Mr. Large’s new title will be Fleet Director for county and school motor vehicles.

Currently, the Grove Road garage location services all county owned motor vehicles not serviced by the County Landfill or the County Road Department. Under the new plan, the garage will also service and maintain the county bus fleet and automobiles owned by Jefferson County Schools.

This move is designed to allow a more efficient operation of the repair process and it is the goal that a cost savings will be shown as well. Final preparations for the move will occur during December with full implementation to be in place by early February.

Mayor Potts

“We are always seeking ways to enhance and effectively use county resources. This joint collaborative effort between Jefferson County School and Jefferson County Government is an example of government working jointly together to lower costs and improve efficiency.”

“We can utilize our resources and buying power through this cooperative effort to lower the cost of maintaining our fleets.”

“I look forward to the progress we will make together operating as one.”

Director of Schools Johnston

“We are excited about this move in order to be more efficient and if this can indeed prove to be a cost saving measure then it will benefit the taxpayers of Jefferson County.”

“The school system currently has four mechanics positions, but often the mechanics were also having to drive buses to address the driver shortage. The mechanic positions are being relocated to the county garage site, but no current employee will be adversely affected. The only difference for mechanics will be the location they report to each day.”

“Our transportation supervisor does a fabulous job. This move will also allow her to focus her efforts on all the items specific to assisting drivers, students, and parents. There are several areas including driver recruitment and training, analysis of efficient bus routes, personnel issues, parent calls and concerns just to name a few.”

“A new procedure will be put in place that allows drivers to contact the garage for guidance on either bringing the bus for an immediate repair or for the driver to drop the bus off at the designated place and leave with a substitute bus that will be used until the repair is complete.”

“We will continue to monitor this, and I am confident that there will be some hiccups that we will address. This is true with any new initiative, but in the long term I sincerely believe this can be a positive for the county.”