From the Daily News:
New York is on track to spend more than $400,000 this year just to wash its cars.
That includes paying as much as $110 to clean a little Toyota Prius - and $263.25 to clean a GMC Sierra pickup truck.
Is that too much? Nobody seems to know.
Stephen Goldsmith, the deputy mayor trying to save $500 million a year by streamlining how the city runs, is trying to find out.
"I think it's an interesting issue," he said. "What should the car wash policy be?"
The Daily News tracked down more than $280,000 in city spending this year for car washes, using data from Controller John Liu's office.
Two-thirds of that, or $177,000, was for the NYPD's 3,000-vehicle fleet. The next-highest agency, the Department of Transportation, spent around $20,000.
"There are important reasons why having police cars look good is really important. They're a symbol of the city," Goldsmith said.
"I would hope that the police fleet would be cleaner than the rest of the fleet. Now, I have no idea whether that's too much or too few."
There's no standard policy for how often to wash the city's 26,000 vehicles, the largest municipal fleet in the nation. There's no standard rate for how much the city pays, either.
The city's entire $283 million vehicle maintenance budget seems to run the same way, with no standard policy at all.
Nine city agencies operate 125 garages with employees. Other agencies send their vehicles out to private garages for repairs, with no mechanism to keep those costs under control.
At the Brooklyn Truck Wash in East Williamsburg, the DOT regularly pays $236.25 to wash its trucks - even though the price list on the wall says trucks cost $65 and up. No manager was there to answer questions about it.
At Sparkles Car Wash in Flushing, Queens, records show the DOT has paid $110 each to wash cars like Toyota Priuses, Ford Escapes and Ford Tauruses.
General manager Roberto Ebarilli said those must have been heavy detailing jobs, which usually cost $160 and up - but the city gets a break.