Motor pool-privatization issue raised again |

Motor pool-privatization issue raised again

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau

Sen. Sandra Tiffany, R-Henderson, made it clear Monday she hasn’t given up on the idea of privatizing the state motor pool.

Tiffany wanted to delay increasing building rent for the motor pool for two years, saying she still believes the state will get a better deal by having a private company handle the motor pool.

Director of Administration Perry Comeaux argued for the higher rent, which anticipates moving the state operation. He said the state is supposed to be out of its existing location by the end of 2005.

“We know we’re eventually going to have to leave that site,” said Comeaux. He told Senate Finance-Assembly Ways and Means subcommittee members that, if they hold back the rent money and the agency does have to move by December 2005, “we could have a problem.”

He reminded the committee that the lowest of five private bids to run the motor pool for the state came in 50 percent higher than what it now costs the state.

Tiffany, however, said she doesn’t think lawmakers were given all the information about the proposed privatization.

“I’m still uncomfortable,” she said. “I don’t think we have all the information.”

“I don’t know what staff feels is missing because it was crystal clear to us,” said Comeaux.

After the bids came in so high, the governor dropped the idea of privatizing the state’s 800-vehicle motor pool. “This is a no-brainer,” Comeaux said at the time.

The subcommittee voted to approve increased fees for using state cars as recommended by the governor but to keep the lower office rental rate. Tiffany said that will generate extra money from the agencies to put in a fund in case the state does have to move to a new facility and decides not to privatize the operation.

The issue became more confusing for lawmakers when the University of Nevada, Reno decided to privatize its motor pool. Officials said they got a better deal than the campus could provide for itself by contracting with Enterprise Car Rental. That contract was to begin this month.