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Kitsap Transit to buy 31 vans from Bay Ford

The Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved buying 31 vans from Port Orchard dealer Bay Ford to boost its Rideshare program.

The agency was awarded $1.89 million of federal stimulus funds to replace its “older, higher-mileage” vans. However, believing they could obtain additional savings, the agency’s staff members decided to hold a competitive bid process.

“We are very excited to accept a local dealer’s bid,” said John Clauson, the agency’s service development director, and a Port Orchard City Councilman.

Clauson said deciding to put the order out for bid rather than buying the vans through the Washington State Procurement Office saved the agency more than $138,000, and allowed “us to increase the number of vehicles by four.”

Port Orchard City Councilwoman Carolyn Powers, who sat in the May 19 meeting on behalf of Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, said she was “really thrilled that it’s a dealer in Port Orchard,” though she understood that the transaction would not include an influx of sales tax into the city’s coffers.

Clauson confirmed that there would be no sales tax on the purchase, and the fact that he is a PO City Councilman was the reason why he mentioned the specific name of the dealer in the agenda item.

Board members Charlotte Garrido and Will Maupin also said they were pleased that the money was being spent locally, and the resolution approving the purchase passed unanimously.

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