WV HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT DOWNSIZING? - Equipment Sale Could Be Indicator

By Bob Weaver

The West Virginia Division of Highways is hoping to raise $4 million by selling off equipment at this year's auction, money they say will be used to pave some roads.

Usually the auction brings about $1 million.

Some highway employees are saying the sale of equipment, some new and some old, could be a sign of downsizing or centralizing county garages.

This years auction will have over 400 pieces of equipment, dump trucks, and pickup trucks.

Administrators are saying the excess vehicles come from a shift in job duties at county garages.

State Highways Engineer Marvin Murphy says instead of equipping county garages for large projects, the county fleets are being scaled back to address Core Maintenance Functions.

The DOH's Core Program include keeping the grass mowed, ditches cleared, picking up litter and patching potholes.

District crews and contract outfits will do larger projects such as road slips or drains.

A DOH employee says "Sounds like outsourcing and layoffs up ahead."