Miami-Dade County cars sit idle

Some cars have been sitting since 2006

MIAMI - There are 12 Miami-Dade County-owned 2006 Ford F-250's with heavy-duty lift gates that have been sitting for six years, never used.

Local 10 also found a line of 15 mini-vans bought back in 2007, which also have never ever been put on the road.

There are five never-used Toyota Prius that are five-years-old... and the list goes on.

Local 10 uncovered more than 100 vehicles, paid for by Miami-Dade taxpayers that have been sitting idle in the Earlington Heights Metrorail garage for years. In total, an estimated $965,000 worth of taxpayer bought vehicles.

Local 10's Jeff Weinsier showed Miami-Dade commissioners pictures of what he found.

"I'm appalled by this, I can't figure it out," Commissioner Lynda Bell said.

"I just saw this for the first time, and I don't understand it," Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz said.

"If these vehicles are sitting here let's put them into service and cycle out the ones with high mileage," Bell said.

"You have to buy new tires because they have been sitting on them so long," Commissioner Joe Martinez said.

County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the reason these vehicles have been sitting and not put in to service is an old problem that he inherited. Years ago the county significantly reduced the size of its fleet and decided to keep current vehicles on the road longer. By that time, the idle vehicles had already been bought and delivered.

Gimenez said the idle vehicles will eventually be added to the county's fleet, as needed.

"That is something that shouldn't have happened. I'm trying to take care of the problem, but I am trying to in a logical manner," Gimenez said. "If you sell them you will only get 10 cents on the dollars, and these are brand new vehicles. So if I sell them all, next year I will have to buy new ones at 100 percent."

But some commissioners weren't happy with the explanation.

"My district needed a vehicle and now I see we have almost a million dollars worth of vehicles there, it is appalling to me," Commissioner Bell said.

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