County leaders have declared 26 government-use vehicles as surplus, including one that was totaled and another that fell prey to arson — and those that are not disabled are to be sold at auction.
As it does periodically, the Board of Supervisors “retired” the vehicles. Five of those in Tuesday’s action came from County/Cal Fire; eight from the Sheriff’s Department; three from the Agricultural Commissioner; one from the Planning and Building Department; two from the Probation Department; one from Drug and Alcohol Services; one from Dairy Creek; and one from fleet services.
The environmental health division had used two of them, including a 2003 Ford Focus that was taken out of service because of arson. Two others had been used by the parks department, including a 2007 Ford Ranger with 28,740 miles on it that was totaled, according to a staff report.
A civilian driving a recreational vehicle hit the Ford Ranger, and the county was reimbursed fully for the loss, according to Janette Pell, general services director.
The arson against the Ford Focus remains under investigation.
In fiscal year 2009-2010, the county declared 77 vehicles surplus and auctioned them, bringing in $149,753, according to a staff report prepared by Pell. She said the average vehicle value at disposal was $1,945.
Usually, Pell wrote in response to a Tribune query, the amount brought in “varies based on age, mileage and overall condition, but is typically 5 to 15 percent of the original equipment cost.”
Generally, the county retires a vehicle when it has been used for eight years or has been driven 100,000 miles, Pell wrote. She said the county generally “surpluses” three times a year.
All five Cal Fire vehicles had more than 136,000 miles, and some as many as 187,000 miles. One, an International fire engine, dated to 1981.
At the other end of the mileage spectrum, a planning department Plymouth Neon had only 69,164 miles on it, but it had been in use nine years.
Apart from the burned and totaled vehicles, the only one to be taken out of service because of equipment failure was a Sheriff’s Department 2004 Ford E350 whose transmission failed.
Pell wrote that “most, but not all” of the vehicles will be replaced, noting that “the county has been replacing fewer vehicles as a cost-savings measure.”