A White Rock resident is wondering why the city is scrapping seemingly good vehicles when it could be potentially recovering costs for taxpayers.
Ron Eves, who appeared before council at the Oct. 29 council meeting with several Freedom of Information documents detailing some of the history of White Rock's work vehicles, questioned council why two Ford F-150 trucks purchased in 2001 appeared to have been barely used during the city's ownership before being sold for scrap in 2011.
According to Eves, the vehicles were purchased by the city for $41,000 before tax in 2001. During their time with the city, the vehicles did not appear to be used regularly, with fuel and insurance costs for each vehicle being around $957 per year.
"As fuel, this is $15 and 50 cents per week based on the year," said Eves.
However, despite the seemingly low use, the vehicles did rack up the costs when it came to maintenance.
"Service cost for (one of the vehicles) in 2009 was $7349," he noted, adding that one had its transmission repaired in 2006 and again in 2007. "There was also further work done in 2008 for $1600.
"With repairs one year apart, one would wonder why was there no reasonable warranty."
Eventually, the vehicles were taken out of service by the city in 2011, and were crushed and sold for scrap metal.
"I'd like to point out the market value today, according to the (Canadian) Black Book is $6,000 to $8,000 but (were sold for a) scrap value of $852 dollars," said Eves.
Eves also pointed out that there was no record of an independent commercial vehicle inspection before the vehicles were disposed of, and he wondered why the process had not been undertaken as it would have given the city a good idea of the value of the vehicles.
"Despite being well maintained at a high cost and not driven far, (the vehicles) were crushed and sold for scrap," he said. "They were better maintained, and most companies do still have 10-year-old F-150s on road."
To avoid adding costs to the current city budget, Eves suggested a purchasing manager position be created to focus on issues such as these.
Coun. Helen Fathers was impressed with Eves' work, noting she was "astounded" by his efforts at digging up the information.
"You obviously spent a whole lot of time doing this," she said.
Fathers then made a motion to refer Eves' findings to staff, and asked them to report back to council. The motion passed unanimously.
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