Island Transit officials to keep purchased tractor, gazebos

Officials at Island Transit formally decided to keep a tractor and two gazebos that were improperly purchased with grant money that had to be paid back to the federal government.

Officials at Island Transit formally decided to keep a tractor and two gazebos that were improperly purchased with grant money that had to be paid back to the federal government.

Oak Harbor Councilman Rick Almberg, chairman of the Island Transit board, was pushing to sell the Kubota tractor and brought up the issue again during the special meeting Monday. He was overruled, however, in a 3-2 vote.

Almberg argued that the tractor, which was purchased for $22,000 about three years ago, should be sold to recoup that money. He suggested that it could sell for a minimum of $15,000.

Island Transit employees said they use the tractor for snow removal at the transit facility’s parking lot, to move a large manhole cover and to complete other smaller tasks.

Over the past 90 days, the tractor was only used for 4.3 hours, according to Interim Director Ken Graska.

Graska said that it would be more cost effective to rent equipment when it’s needed rather than let the tractor depreciate.

However, Island County Commissioner Rick Hannold argued that the agency should just keep the piece of equipment since it’s paid for and rental equipment may not be available when it’s needed. He also said training staff to use rental equipment might be a complication.

Langley Councilman Bruce Allen, who replaced Jim Sundberg, said it wasn’t worth selling the tractor for just $15,000, pointing out that the agency’s annual budget is $12 million.

“It’s a penny compared to $12 million,” he said.

Almberg and Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson, who also sits on the transit board, countered that having cash is very valuable to the agency, which is still recovering from financial problems.

In the end, Almberg’s and Johnson’s were the only votes against a motion to keep the tractor.

In addition, the board members unanimously agreed to keep the two gazebos that became a symbol of wasteful spending following revelations about the agency’s financial problems, which were in part related to the new facility near Coupeville.

 

More in News

Vanderwerfhorst
Level 3 sex offender moves to Langley

The Island County Sheriff’s Office is holding a meeting Monday to talk… Continue reading

Lines from crab pots snarl ferries

Ferries and crab pots don’t mix, state officials warn. The ferries on… Continue reading

Mysterious bag found | Island Scanner

The following items were selected from reports made to the Island County… Continue reading

Uninhabited house destroyed in blaze

Officials from Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue say they are unable… Continue reading

Freeland shopping center proposes to build sewage treatment facility

Owners of Freeland Plaza Shopping Center have submitted an application to replace… Continue reading

Dog rescued from bluff

Firefighters from South Whidbey Fire/EMS and Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue… Continue reading

Photo by Emily Gilbert/South Whidbey Record.
                                Samantha Ollis, of Langley, with her cows Duke, left, and Daisy, which she’s raised.
Menagerie at the fair

Kids in 4-H and their animals greeted visitors of the Whidbey Island… Continue reading

EMS seeking levy renewal

Extending EMS levy ‘vital to our hospital system’

Clinton ADA beach dedication set for July 21

Blue mats bring beach time for all abilities

Most Read