PORTLAND, Ore. — The question was posted on Twitter: “Why is State of Oregon selling a 'surplus' 2017 Chevy Equinox w/ 442 miles on it?”
The tweet by @sp_redelctric included a link to a government surplus auction website.
The online auction listing at govdeals.com read, “2017 Chevrolet Equinox LS AWD- LOOK!! LOW MILES!” The vehicle has only 442 miles. It appears to be spotless. Photos show the total vehicle price listed as $28,087.50.
So which government agency was getting rid of this nearly brand-new vehicle and why?
The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles said the vehicle was purchased in February by the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments. The council, which is based in The Dalles, is a multi-jurisdictional agency established to bring efficiencies to local governments that stretch across Wasco, Hood River, Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties.
Meeting minutes from the agency’s board of directors helps to explain the unexpected sale of the 2017 vehicle.
Sarah Brumbaugh, Finance Director explained in the Aug. 8 meeting that the vehicle did not comply with the grant requirements that funded its purchase.
“This was a mistake and needs to be sold in order to repurchase a vehicle,” explained meeting minutes posted online.
The vehicle was intended to be used as a dispatch vehicle to provide rides to seniors. The Oregon Department of Transportation, which provided the grant money to purchase the vehicle, required that it was ADA compliant. The 2017 Chevy Equinox did not have a wheelchair lift. ODOT denied payment, explained Brumbaugh.
So far, the vehicle has received four bids. The current bid is $15,000. The vehicle must reach an undisclosed reserve before it is sold. The auction ends on Sept. 19. The state surplus program takes 17 percent of the purchase price as an administrative fee, explained John Cody, assistant manager of surplus property for DAS.
MCCOG director David Meriwether was on vacation and not available for comment.