City may come out ahead after accident

November 20, 1996


Staff Writer

People are used to hearing stories about government waste, but here's a case in which bureaucratic red tape could result in a profit for the City of Hagerstown.

Hagerstown could end up making money from a recent accident involving a city vehicle, even though the city must replace the vehicle.

The city could come out about $904 ahead after buying a new pickup truck to replace a sport utility vehicle that was involved in a wreck, according to Dave White, the city's purchasing manager.


The water plant foreman's city-owned vehicle, a 1996 GMC Jimmy, was totaled on Oct. 8 after another driver skidded on a wet roadway through a red light at the intersection of Burhans Boulevard and West Antietam Street and hit the foreman's vehicle, White said.

The city bought the Jimmy from General Motors last December for $17,553, a price that reflected a discount given for government vehicles, he said.

The insurance company has reimbursed the city for $19,400, the actual value of the Jimmy rather than the lower price the city paid for the vehicle, White said.

The insurance company's reimbursement might not have been so high if city officials had time to put out a new bid for a replacement vehicle at the government discount price, White said. But the water plant foreman needs a pickup truck as soon as possible and a new bid would have taken at least two months, he said.

That also would have added to the insurance company's cost because of the price for a rental vehicle during the two-month wait, White said.

Instead, the purchase of a replacement truck was piggybacked on a bid that had been issued before the accident, White said.

City Council members voted 4-0 on Tuesday to accept a bid for a 1997 GMC Sierra pickup truck from Sharrett Inc. for $18,496.

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