Equipment Services, through the Central Stores operation, is
responsible for a wide variety of equipment, supplies, tools,
and other items necessary to the everyday operation of the various
Whatcom County divisions and departments. Items include safety
vests, first aid kits), radios, raingear, road oil (a $450,000
a year inventory item), paint striping and bridge materials, grass
seed, asphalt, herbicides, culverts, salt, sand, and coveralls.
This service is provided to the Park and Recreation department,
the Sheriff's office, and Public Works Road Crew for the materials
and supplies necessary for the maintenance and operations of the
Another related task of Equipment Services' inventory management
is gravel, pit run, culverts, and other construction materials
used by the Maintenance and Operations division of Public Works.
The availability of the materials supplied through the Pits and
Quarries operation enables the Road Crew immediate access to the
necessary rock, pit run gravel, and other materials necessary
to complete road maintenance projects in a timely fashion. This
allows for the least impact on county residents and visitors as
well as minimum cost to county taxpayers. In 2001, approximately
44,000 yards of gravel were removed from the 2 active gravel pits.
Equipment Services' Central Stores is the procurer for all the
tires, brakes, and other items necessary to maintain the county
fleet in working order. They also outfit the Sheriff's vehicles
with lights, side panel striping, and other equipment necessary
to their operation. If an item is purchased by Public Works Equipment
Services, it goes through Central Stores for inventory control.
Maintenance and Operations is required to report all materials
usage, through item tickets and waybills, to Central Stores who
compiles and inventories this usage. Central Stores inventory
is audited by the State every year to ensure accountability.
Many of the purchases made by Central Stores require the
assistance of Whatcom County Administrative Services, Finance
Division Purchasing. Equipment Services will prepare a bid
document that is routed to purchasing for advertising through
the various appropriate newspapers and journals. Purchasing
also handles the bid openings by placing the item on the Council
agenda and participating in the Council Session. Purchasing
then forwards the bids to Equipment Services for tabulation
and bid award. Equipment Services also prepares a number
of other contracts for a variety of services related to the
Shop and Stores personnel are required to have flexible hours
in order to address the needs of the Maintenance & Operations
schedule. The morning routine for Stores personnel include the
distribution of equipment to the road crew personnel including
shovels and other hand tools, safety equipment such as vests and
road signs, and culverts, catch basins, and other road construction
materials from the outside yard.