Motor pool won’t be privatized |

Motor pool won’t be privatized

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau

At the urging of conservative lawmakers including Sen. Sandra Tiffany, R-Henderson, the state tried its best to save some money by privatizing the motor pool.

But Budget Director Perry Comeaux told lawmakers on Monday the lowest of five private bids for the job came in 50 percent higher than what it now costs the state.

As a result, Comeaux said, the state won’t be privatizing the motor pool operation any time soon. Gov. Kenny Guinn will keep the state operated fleet of 800 vehicles at least for the time being.

“This is a no-brainer,” he told lawmakers.

Privatizing the motor pool, which provides state employees with vehicles to use on state business, was suggested on the theory that private business can do the job better and cheaper. Comeaux said companies offered to provide the state with vehicles at daily rates ranging from $31 to $44 for a compact car.

The state now rents vehicles to its own agencies for $28.45 a day.

Monthly rentals from private firms ranged from $580 to $960. The state rate is $342.

But Tiffany said she hasn’t given up on the idea and wants to make sure the bids are “apples to apples.”

“This is still a legislative decision,” she said.