Ocala Fire, Police chiefs ‘ecstatic’ with improvements to vehicle fleet

Ocala Fire and Police Chiefs indicated that they are “ecstatic” with the improvements that have been made to the vehicle fleets for the Ocala Fire Rescue and the Ocala Police Department in recent years.

During a workshop on Tuesday to review the city’s 2019-2020 fiscal year budget, Police Chief Greg Graham praised City Manager John Zobler and his staff’s efforts in the last four years to improve the fleet.

“You can tell just by the cars that are going around. They’re new, they’re clean,” said Graham.

“You guys have done a great job of getting us back to where we need to be. I just need to say this right now. This is the first time in a long time we currently don’t have any cars being repaired in a body shop,” said Graham.

Ocala Fire Rescue chief Shane Alexander issued similar praise.

“We’re ecstatic with the condition of our vehicles,” said Alexander.

According to city staff, the infrastructure sales tax has been critical in allowing both departments to replace their vehicles.

That sales tax, also known as the Penny Sales Tax, was heralded earlier this year by Marion County Chairwoman Michelle Stone. The tax will expire in 2020.