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Barf! Government Vehicles Found Sitting Pretty

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On: Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 12:18PM | By: Chris Salamone


Barf! Government Vehicles Found Sitting Pretty

What do twelve Ford F-250s, at least fifteen minivans, five Toyota Prii, and a hodgepodge of barely used government-purchased vehicles have in common? They make up a portion of the 100 or so Miami-Dade County cars which sit idly at the Earlington Heights Metrorail garage, totaling about $965,000.00 in dormant assets.

Since 2006 and 2007, Miami-Dade County has left the vehicles parked, out of service, and lying in wait. And, as we all know, unused cars don’t exactly remain maintenance or cost free – tires, batteries, fluids…and let’s not forget insurance. So why, in the name of all things holy, does Miami-Dade have 100+ cars collecting dust?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is anything but satisfying. The County decided to purchase these vehicles just before the Great Recession unfolded. Shortly after buying, the economy tanked and Miami-Dade had to trim their workforce and – you guessed it – number of cars on the road.

The next domino fell, which effectively assured that nearly a million dollars in vehicles would be stored away: then-currently operating vehicles were given priority to remain in use as a cost saving measure. Five, and in some cases six, years have passed.

“That is something that shouldn’t have happened. I’m trying to take care of the problem, but I am trying to in a logical manner,” County Mayor Carolos Gimenez stated to Local 10. “If you sell them you will only get 10 cents on the dollar, and these are brand new vehicles. So if I sell them all, next year I will have to buy new ones at 100 percent.”

But at least one Commissioner isn’t too thrilled with Mayor Gimenez’s rationale. Commissioner Lynda Bell responded, “I’m appalled by this, I can’t figure it out…My district needed a vehicle and now I see we have almost a million dollars’ worth of vehicles there.”

Not to mention that mint condition, extremely low mileage vehicles would not receive 10 cents on the dollar, even at auction, OR that new vehicles purchased in bulk are never bought at 100 percent value.

Nevertheless the Mayor does make a strong case for keeping the vehicles until they’re absolutely needed for service. For now they represent the flagrant waste of our pre-Recession boom, but going forward we can still use these assets as intended. Let’s just hope those Toyota Prius batteries can still hold a charge.


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dwalter | 12:43PM (Fri, Apr 20, 2012)

wow. what a waste!



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