Reports call for monitoring NC motor fleet, selling helicopter
The General Assembly's fiscal watchdog agency says North Carolina needs better tracking of state-owned vehicles.Posted — Updated
The Program Evaluation Division also released a report Wednesday calling for the sale of a high-end helicopter often used to ferry company executives looking to build in the state.
"What we're trying to accomplish is to get a more modern fleet that is well utilized and efficient," said John Turcotte, director of the Program Evaluation Division.
Lawmakers appeared to be open to the idea.
"While there is a cost, it's a relatively minor cost compared to the potential savings," said Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance.
"It is an investment, especially when you're talking about thousands of cars, so you have to weigh it out," said Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell.
WRAL News first reported inefficiencies in Motor Fleet Management in 2009, noting that agencies paid thousands of dollars for vehicles that sat idle. The state changed its policies last year so that agencies only pay for the mileage they use.
"It would make sense to us, economically at least, to use a less expensive helicopter," Turcotte told lawmakers.
Gov. Beverly Perdue said the S-76 helicopter is often used to survey damage after a hurricane or tornado, but she acknowledged that some things need to be sacrificed for savings.
"I respect the discussions that are ongoing. I would believe there would be several things on the list," Perdue said.
Turcotte said the S-76 could be sold and that a cheaper aircraft could be shared by the Highway Patrol and the Department of Commerce.
The state's aviation fleet has declined by more than 25 percent since 2009.
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