GRANGEVILLE The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office auction held April 28 drew bids totaling more than $152,000, according to public records – and not every big-ticket item was sold.
“There were things we couldn’t sell because of the time requirements of the federal government,” Giddings told the Free Press May 7.
Because state law requires money from the sale of county property to flow through the county’s general fund and be allocated by the county commissioners through the normal budget process, elected officials are moving to put their “horsetrading” over what to do with the auction proceeds in writing.
The county government’s budget cycle begins every Oct. 1 and ends every Sept. 30.
During the commission’s discussion last Tuesday, May 1, of how the current fiscal year’s search and rescue line came to be overspent barely halfway through the cycle, elected officials used about 17 minutes to “bicker” over how the commissioners ought to allocate the auction sale proceeds for the budget year that begins this fall.
Earlier in the day, Giddings asked the board for two minutes for him and ICSO deputy Justin Scuka to present information about some federal surplus equipment the sheriff’s office brought in and did not sell.
“I thought you sold everything,” Idaho County Commission chairman Skip Brandt said.
“Everything that we meant to sell,” Giddings replied. “I said it wrong and Scuka caught me on it. We didn’t sell everything…we kept the backhoe, a front-end loader, a semitruck, three trailers…”
“Enclosed trailers or semi-trailers or?” Brandt inquired.
“They are three semitrailers,” Scuka said. “One is a step-deck trailer with hydraulic ramps on it. We also kept the aluminum 53-foot flatbed semi-trailer, and the reason we kept that one is it’s in really, really great condition, all the rubber is good, and it also has sliders on it, so it can go anywhere in the state.”
“We have a refrigerated enclosed trailer,” Scuka said. “And we kept all those semitrailers because they’re great for storage, we can move our equipment around and…on search-and-rescues, if I need all the four-wheelers or all the snowmobiles, it takes four or five trucks. With that one trailer, I can throw everything on, and one driver and it’s all done.”
Scuka went on to list other items, such as rescue gear, that the county also kept.
“That was two minutes, I timed it,” Giddings said after their report.
About 90 minutes later, Giddings was back in front of the commissioners for a scheduled budget presentation, along with ISCO administrative assistant Trudy Slagle.
“Well, as you know, the commissioners are ultimately responsible for the budget,” commissioner Mark Frei said. “So this is kind of like our half-year check-in, to see where you’re at, if you’re on track, if you’re going to be over, if there is stuff you want to tell us about, if there are things you need to shuffle around.”
The board reviewed several other lines apparently on the way to overage. A repairs and maintenance line that was explained away as payment in full of a yearlong computer upkeep contract. A dues and subscriptions line that similarly includes full-year payments. A jail assessment fee that had been raised by $150 unbeknownst, they said, to Slagle or Giddings. During this part of the review, Slagle’s phone went off, playing the AC/DC song “Back in Black.”
“Good ringtone,” Brandt noted.
Then they came to the question of the search and rescue overage, and of a $4,000 expense Slagle said the county undertook to repair a front-end loader ICSO retained from the auction.
“Is that the backhoe,” Brandt asked.
“No, we have a backhoe, this is a front-end loader,” Giddings said.
“With forks?” commissioner Denis Duman asked.
“Yes,” said Giddings.
“So this morning, did you reference that as a forklift?” Duman asked.
“So you have a forklift and this,” Brandt asked.
“Yes, we have both, and we’re keeping both of those,” Giddings said. “We use the heck out of them. You know that big storage, they can put on the ships, whatever you call those…”
“Cargo containers,” Duman said.
“Cargo containers,” Slagle said.
“…that front-end loader can pick that sucker up,” Giddings said.
“It will? Really?” Brandt asked.
“10,000 pounds,” Giddings said.
“It was very handy at the auction,” Slagle said.
Duman also asked about a walk-in fridge that was sold at the auction, which Giddings said he thought went for about $3,000.
After that, the elected officials slogged through a discussion of what will be done with the auction proceeds, which concluded with the board asking Giddings to put his position in writing, in the form of a budget request, for the commissioners to act upon during the upcoming budget process.
On his way out the door, Giddings jokingly suggested to the Free Press: “Don’t write down any of that stuff I said, OK?”
A complete transcript of both auction discussions is online at idahocountyfreepress.com. Also on the Free Press website are copies of a pre-auction advertisement for the items at sale – which was carried out by Baker Auction Co. of Ontario, Ore. – and a copy of Baker’s post-auction report.