MICHIGAN — Hiawatha National Forest completed the process of transferring a crew cab pick-up truck to the Delta County Sheriff’s Department. The vehicle, which was being replaced through the Forest Service’s normal fleet replacement cycle, was of interest to the Sheriff’s Department to support various missions including hauling their marine emergency and rescue boat.
Hiawatha’s fleet manager, Joe Lenoir, explained the process, “The General Services Administration and state surplus programs allow the Forest Service to establish a fixed price agreement with local municipalities in order to transfer reliable assets at very fair and reasonable prices.”
In this case, the Delta County Sheriff’s Department acquired the vehicle for $6000 – the amount needed to pay off the remaining balance on the truck purchase. Three months ago, the Forest transferred another used vehicle to the Sheriff’s Department in Evart, Michigan, using the same process.
How does the fixed price agreement work? Instead of a typical auction, the local municipality pre-agrees to the fixed price set by the federal agency selling the vehicle. The municipality then works with the State of Michigan’s Federal Surplus Property Program to set up a credit line and route funding to the federal agency (in this case, the Forest Service). While the process can sometimes be challenging, Lenoir is enthusiastic about the opportunity to be a good neighbor and provide excellent customer service.
“It works best if the local governmental unit is registered with the state authority before beginning the process,” noted Lenoir, “but in the end, it feels great to see a used vehicle go to a local government where it can help them improve their community.”