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Sullivan 'surplus' equipment may be forwarded to Central America

J. H. Osborne • Apr 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County commissioners could vote Monday to OK “transfer” of “surplus” county highway department equipment to a city in Honduras, in Central America, according to information released Friday by Sullivan County Mayor Steve Godsey’s office.

A resolution to authorize Godsey to make the transfer is sponsored by County Commissioner Joe Herron, with co-sponsors listed as Commissioners Buddy King, Bill Kilgore, Linda Brittenham and Moe Brotherton.

It indicates the county property, after being given to the city of Siguatepeque, would be dedicated for public use only “until said equipment is no longer operable.”

Elsewhere, the resolution describes the county property — four trucks and a piece of paving equipment — as being “considered “surplus” and parts cannot be purchased on some of the equipment and the cost to operate the equipment exceeds the value to keep it in operation.”

Descriptions of the items to be given to the Honduran city include:

• 1988 GMC 7000 Topkick, 228,600 miles.

• 1986 Chevy C70, 240,481 miles.

• 1986 Chevy C70, 266,450 miles.

• 1989 GMC 7000 Topkick, 217,900 miles.

• 1992 DD-65 Ingersoll Rand Roller.

No dollar value is included in the items’ descriptions, or anywhere else in the resolution. It does stipulate the city of Siguatepeque agrees to hold the county harmless and cover the cost of shipping the equipment, with shipment within 14 days of the transfer.

The county commission voted last May for Sullivan County to formally enter into a “goodwill agreement” with the city of Siguatepeque, proclaiming Siguatepeque and Sullivan County “sister communities” under the Sister Cities International program.

Delegations from the Honduran city have made multiple visits to Sullivan County, and a group of county officials, employees and some spouses traveled to Siguatepeque last summer — including Godsey, Highway Commissioner Allan Pope, and most of the sponsors of the resolution to give the “surplus” highway equipment to the city.

The county typically holds public auctions to dispose of surplus property. A recent memorandum from the county’s purchasing department indicated the next such auction could be coming up in a couple of months.

The resolution for Godsey to give the highway equipment to Siguatepeque is listed as new business on the commission’s agenda for Monday.

A letter attached to the resolution, from Siguatepeque’s mayor agreeing to details of the proposed donation, is dated March 13.

The resolution wasn’t listed as an agenda item until this month’s committee process was over, so none of the commission’s committees have discussed or voted on the matter. If the resolution’s sponsors ask for a waiver of commission rules and a vote on Monday, it will need at least 16 “yes” votes for approval. If it’s allowed to roll to “old business” on next month’s agenda, it would only need 13 affirmative votes for approval.

The Sullivan County Commission is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. on the second floor of the historic Sullivan County Courthouse.

For more information about Sullivan County government, including how to contact individual commissioners, visit www.sullivancounty.org.

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