State Of California Cuts Back “Federal Surplus Personal Property Program” That Allowed California School Districts To Purchase Equipment At Extremely Low Cost

At precisely the time when a faltering economy means cities and schools need to save money, the state of California has decimated one of the very programs that helps local governments cut costs.

For decades, schools districts like the Huntington Beach Union High School District and the Anaheim Union High School District have depended on an obscure program that allows nonprofits, small businesses and local governments to acquire surplus federal equipment at dramatically reduced prices.

Under the Federal Surplus Personal Property Program, you can get a$15,000 forklift for $1,000, an $8,000 Dodge van for $750.

“That’s how we’re sending money to the classroom. We don’t have to buy a $60,000 truck,” said Steve Bradford, fleet manager for the Huntington Beach district. He said his district has acquired staff cars, trucks, vans, electric carts, forklifts, trailers and portable lights through the program.

“It’s been a life saver for us,” said Scott McDonough, garage supervisor for the Anaheim district, who estimates that 35 to 40 percent of the 150 vehicles in his “white” fleet (non-school buses) were obtained through the program.

To cut costs, however, the state recently closed the program’s headquarters in Santa Ana and moved the operation to Sacramento. That might not sound like a big deal, but McDonough and Bradford say it’s been a disaster. They say the program doesn’t work now and they can’t figure out what equipment is available.

http://taxdollars.freedomblogging.com/author/bjoseph/

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