LAKE HAVASU CITY–-Mohave County held their annual surplus vehicle auction this past month bringing in over $248,120 that will be returned to the county coffers. The auction, which started in 2005 following the implementation of the County’s Vehicle Management Plan, is held once a year and plays a major role in the County’s Vehicle Replacement Program.
“Through this program, we are able to replace county vehicles once they reach their extended warranty life,” Supervisor Buster Johnson stated.
This year’s surplus vehicle auction included 43 retired County vehicles along with several boat trailers, pallets, vehicle lifts, compressors, and single items of miscellaneous vehicle equipment and parts. All proceeds from the sale of the vehicles are deposited back into the County’s Vehicle Replacement Fund. Public Works Director Steven Latoski stated that an exception to this rule is with the sale of a public work’s vehicle in which those proceeds will go back into the County’s Highway User Revenue Fund. “County citizens are able to purchase well-maintained vehicles during these auctions making this a win-win for everybody,” Supervisor Johnson stated.
According to Johnson, the Vehicle Replacement Fund has saved the County hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout the past thirteen years. “Buy getting the extended warranties on these vehicles and replacing them before they become a liability to the taxpayer, we were able to phase out our county mechanics who repaired these vehicles as they are serviced under warranty thus saving the taxpayer more money and reducing our number of employees and benefits. We also are taking better care of our employees by having safe vehicles to drive and saving taxpayer’s money on employee injuries,” Supervisor Johnson explained. “These vehicles are well maintained and we historically receive more than blue book when selling because of their continued maintenance, again saving taxpayers money,” Johnson continued.
The County’s Fleet Services provides vehicles and maintenance for the County Departments. Public Works Director Latoski, stated that the County’s Equipment Maintenance is responsible for maintaining 244 vehicles assigned and billed to various departments at a per month/per mile rate. “Twenty motor pool cars are also available to the departments to check out for traveling out of town,” Latoski explained. “The vehicle replacement fund has been a major success over the years,” Supervisor Johnson said. “When I first took office, we had vehicles with upwards to 200,000 miles on them. They were falling apart and unsafe to drive. They were costing county taxpayers thousands a month in maintenance costs. With the implementation of the vehicle replacement program, we were able to streamline the vehicle use policy and discarded high-mileage vehicles,” Johnson continued.
According to Latoski, new vehicles are purchased with a five-year extended warranty for the Sheriff’s Department and a six-year extended warranty for all other departments. “A vehicle is replaced when it either reaches its warranty life or 120,000 miles,” Latoski explained. When a new vehicle is purchased and assigned to a department or individual, the purchase price of the vehicle, divided by six, is charged to the budget of the assignee. “This amount is deposited each year in a Vehicle Replacement Fund. At the end of the vehicle’s warranty life, the county has recovered the purchase price and interest on the fund offsets inflation in the purchase price of the replacement,” Latoski stated.
For more information on the County’s vehicle replacement program, please visit: https://www.mohavecounty.us/ContentPage.aspx?id=128&cid=240
Article by BUSTER JOHNSON