Southern Oregon Aspire gets transit donation

Josephine County Transit Program Supervisor Scott Chancey joined the Board of JoCo Commissioners Oct. 5 to detail the donation of a surplus vehicle from his fleet.
“With the transit program we have a process where, when one of the vehicles is beyond its useful life for us, we try to dispose of it so we do one of essentially three things: One – we can sell it; two – we can donate it to another nonprofit; or three – we can give it to another department within the county.”
The vehicle in question is a Ford van with a broken lift, “and every single vehicle we have has to have a lift or mobility devices,” Chancey explained.
“It was being used by facilities. They’re no longer using it so it’s gotten to the point where we need to give it away or dispose of it.”
According to Chancey, nonprofits can submit applications online to be considered for the donation, and Southern Oregon Aspire was selected to receive the Ford van. The transit program supervisor noted this nonprofit was the only applicant.
Commissioner Dan DeYoung asked why the Ford van wasn’t part of a surplus vehicle auction underway countywide.
Chancey answered, “We’ve had this long standing process where we will put them up if there’s a local nonprofit that wants one of our vehicles. We try to dispose of them that way first.
“The reason is because a lot of the local nonprofits, they actually compete with us for limited state funds for vehicles. So this is a way to give them a vehicle to make sure their needs are met as well as they’re not competing with us for limited state resources.”
Commissioner Darin Fowler compelled Chancey to divulge that there are 93,000 miles on the 2009 Ford E350.
“The standard, established means for determining if it’s beyond its useful life for this vehicle is five years, and, I think 100,000 miles. It’s well beyond the five years; it’s not quite to the 100,000 miles but the lift doesn’t work, which means I can’t put it in service legally.”
Board Chair Herman Baertschiger proposed that transit institute a policy where nonprofits that accept vehicle donations are required to use them for a certain amount of time, concerned that in the future, a nonprofit may accept a donation and immediately sell the vehicle to another party.
While Chancey said he’d never had this happen before, he thanked Baertschiger for the suggestion and said he’d bring the proposal up to legal counsel.
Several county employees were recognized for their service at the meeting: Laurie Hansen – Public Works, 35 years; John McCafferty – Information Technology, 20 years; Matthew Skagaloni – Community Corrections, 15 years; Scott Hyde – Community Corrections, 10 years; Michael Robbins – Sheriff’s Office, five years; and Kyle Wolfe – Sheriff’s Office, five years.
“We appreciate your dedication in serving the people of Josephine County,” Baertschiger said of the employees. “We can’t thank them enough. It doesn’t look like anybody is here because they’re probably working, which is a good thing, but we will get their pins and their certificates to them here after the meeting.”
DeYoung, who has served as board liaison to Public Works, called the department “a great group of people.
“Thirty-five years – that’s a long time to work for Public Works, so we really appreciate Laurie’s participation.”
He joked that anybody who works in I.T. for 20 years like McCafferty “has got my vote… I don’t know how you can work around that particular subject for very long without pulling most of your hair out.”
“These folks who have been here a long time have seen a lot in Josephine County,” commented Fowler. “I can’t imagine some of the changes Laurie has seen, not only in Public Works but in technology and personnel.”
Fowler went on, “I’m really shocked that Community Corrections is not here for two of their players, so something’s going on. They usually fill those last two rows (of seats in the auditorium)… I wish them the best in whatever they’re working on.”