Commission closing in on trolley purchase

May 17, 2002|BY SARAH MULLIN

On Thursday, the Berkeley County Commission came a step closer to purchasing a bright red and green trolley.

Commission President Howard Strauss said the trolley could be used to shuttle the public to events such as the popular Roundhouse Rail Day, for tours to local historic sites or for prospective businesses to take tours of the area with the county's Development Authority.

The used demonstration trolley, brought to the Berkeley County Courthouse for inspection by the commission, has about 9,600 miles on it and costs about $125,000.

The county will use a federal grant of $120,000 to purchase the trolley with the additional money coming from the county coffers.


Inside the 31-foot long trolley are wooden seats and brass bars with leather handle straps for riders who choose to stand. A panel with four windows on each side of the trolley can be removed so fresh air can circulate through the interior.

The air-conditioned trolley can hold 30 people, said Dennis Kavanaugh, representative for Colonial Equipment, the Frederick, Md., company that submitted the lowest bid.

Lisa Dall'olio of Grove and Dall'olio Architects said a new trolley would cost about $141,000.

The county will discuss the issue and could vote to purchase the trolley at Thursday's meeting.

The trolley will be operated by Pan Tran, the Eastern Panhandle public transit system, but owned by the county for use by county agencies and businesses, County Administrator Deborah Hammond said.

Individuals or businesses who wish to use the trolley will pay Pan Tran for the operating costs.

The county received two other bids.

Colonial equipment offered a new trolley for $135,000 and Trolley Enterprise, a Florida company, offered a new one for $128,400.

The trolley from Trolley Enterprise had none of the desired itemized options included in the price, including etched glass, a destination sign and exterior wood trim. The price with the options included was $132,000.

Strauss said Commissioner Robert Burkhart, who has been absent from county commission meetings since suffering a stroke last month, will need to see the demonstration trolley before the commission will make a final decision.

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