Sarasota County Area Transit employees leaving cash and checks in envelopes unattended is just one fiscal folly highlighted in a Nov. 27 audit filed by Clerk of the Circuit Court Karen Rushing.
Others include poorly angled security cameras, staff members with too much monetary and inventory oversight, and poorly managed purchasing contracts that led to thousands of dollars in lost grants.
County commissioners next week will consider spending $7.4 million towards contracts for bus cleaning and mechanical work, parts and batteries, and 17 clean diesel buses. The staff recommended purchase agreement cuts $200,000 per bus by bucking hybrid engine options.
County staff will pitch options to turn five of the new buses into trolleys to service Siesta Key and other county islands. It would cost taxpayers $68,000 per bus to modify bus frames to look like trolleys, or $6,100 to wrap the bus for a similar effect.
If commissioners approve the agreement with Gillig LLC, production will take roughly a year, and will be a step towards an optimum fleet of 55 clean diesel and 18 hybrid buses, according to a staff report filed by SCAT General Manager Glama Carter.
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