Town tracks down several ‘missing items’

09/18/2013 10:00 AM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Hall.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Hall.

UPDATE: Riverhead Town officials located several items, including a 1987 Chevy van, that were thought to have gone missing after an inventory of town property. Officials also located a 2002 GEM-brand electric car and three Tasers from police that had been reported missing a week earlier.

Two summer interns hired to do the inventory came up with a list of six pages of items that were not accounted for. Following a meeting with department heads Monday, Supervisor Sean Walter said they determined what happened to some of the “missing” items.

“We found the 1987 Chevy van,” Mr. Walter said Tuesday. “We still have it and we are still using it.”

It had been reassigned from another department to the senior citizen department, he said.

“We sent summer interns to look for these things and they couldn’t find it,” the supervisor said. “I guess they didn’t look too far.”

The supervisor said the GEM car was in the town garage being used for parts. The Tasers were defective and had been sent back to the manufacturer with two new ones being issued to the town, Mr. Walter said.

Original Story (Sept. 14)—Riverhead Town “can’t find” a 1987 Chevy van from its senior citizen department, three Tasers from the police department, a 5-ton jack from the highway department, a 2002 GEM-brand electric car from the highway department, and six pages full of other items it owns — or once owned.

The town hired two summer interns to inventory town property and came up with the list, with Town Board members discussing two draft resolutions Thursday that would officially remove the items from its “fixed asset list.”

But Supervisor Sean Walter said he wants town department heads to explain exactly where all of the items went, and if they were discarded, why the proper documentations saying so wasn’t filled out.

Board members asked what the six pages of items were while reviewing upcoming resolutions at Thursday’s work session.

“These are items that cannot be found,” said Tara McLaughlin of the supervisor’s office..

“We lost a 1987 Chevy Van?,” Councilman James Wooten asked.

“We lost a GEM car too,” Councilman John Dunleavy said.

Town officials do not know how long the listed items have been unaccounted for.

None of the items are believed to have been stolen.

“I think what happens is the disposal forms were never filled out,” Ms. McLaughlin told the board. “They were disposed, they went to auction, they just never were done in the system [as having been disposed]. That’s the problem.”

The town does have a contract with a company called PropertyRoom.com, which collects discarded items from municipalities and sells them in online auctions. Riverhead Town has been holding auctions with PropertyRoom.com since September 2011 and splits the proceeds of the sales 50-50.

The Town Board votes on a resolution every time it sends discarded items to PropertyRoom.com. Those resolutions each lists every item that’s being discarded, and in some cases, why it’s being discarded.

“How many times do we have to mention at staff meetings that they have to file the disposal forms?” Mr. Walter asked.

He said he planned to discuss the issue further at an upcoming department head meeting, while trying to find out from department heads what happened to the listed items.

“I can see misplacing a calculator, but a 1987 Chevy Van?” he asked.

tgannon@timesreview.com

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