Archived Story

Van donated to district as dispute continues on vehicle ownership

Published 12:12am Sunday, January 6, 2013

A donated van has gotten the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District’s fleet up to two vehicles as the district and its former manager argue on who owns what assets.

Earlier in December, Bob Vinson, owner and executive director of Spectrum Outreach Services, gave a used Ford Club Wagon that had been used for the Linda Center, a treatment center for women, to the district.

The district had been without its vehicles since it split from the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization in November.

“I signed the title over to them,” Vinson said. “If they can use it, that’s fine. If they can’t, that is fine. They can turn it into money. They need something to haul stuff in. They can do a lot of hauling, transporting people back and forth. I wasn’t asking anything for it. I think the situation is a shame. Anything I could do to help them, that is what this is all about, to get back up and running.”

Also in December the solid waste district was lent a used cruiser from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office for its use in investigating litter complaints.

“On behalf of the district, we are extremely grateful for (Vinson’s) generosity of the donation of the van,” solid waste district director Dan Palmer said. “That will help us. I am just very happy. We have had a lot of people step forward.”

In mid-November the district split from the CAO that had operated it since the 1990s after the district’s board voted for it to become an independent agency.

About a week later, the CAO board declined to transfer titles to the district for four cars, two trailers and a litter van that had been used by solid waste employees, saying the vehicles were CAO property and that they did not belong to the solid waste district.

However, Palmer disputed that claim and instructed district employees not to turn over the vehicles. Currently they remain parked at undisclosed locations.

At its quarterly meeting the solid waste board authorized its attorney Danielle Parker of the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office to get the vehicles back. Until the ownership issue is resolved, the solid waste board authorized the district employees either to rent cars or receive mileage to operate their personal cars. Instead, employees are just using the van and cruiser for the daily operation of the district.

CAO director D.R. Gossett said that organization still contends the vehicles are CAO assets and do not belong to the solid waste district. However, he said he has reached out to the district to try to resolve the matter.

“We sent a letter to them and haven’t heard back,” Gossett said. “The essence (of the letter) is let’s all get together and if they take a look at the legal stand. We want to try to work through it.

“We are patiently going to allow the process to work and demonstrate a lot of goodwill. There is our approach. They are our vehicles and at undisclosed locations. We are hopeful there can be at least some communication, a sense of what the next step is.”

Palmer said the matter is in the hands of Parker and will meet with her on Monday to determine the status of resolving the dispute.

“She is handling all affairs and all communications,” Palmer said. “Right now it is at a standstill.”




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