In an attempt to spur competition for $450,000 worth of contracts for government auto and truck repairs, the General Services Administration plans to open new regional "interagency motor pools" this year in Bethesda, Arlington and Suitland.
Managers of the three new facilities and another shop that opened in Bladensburg in 1981 will be responsible for literally "drumming up competition" for commercial contracts covering general repairs, transmission work, glass replacement, air conditioning repair and towing, according to Dale W. Markley, GSA's acting regional director of transportation.
For years, GSA operated only a central motor pool at the Washington Navy Yard for the 2,214 vehicles it assigns to federal agencies in this region. But in 1980, plans for the Metro Green Line called for subway construction to run right through the motor pool. GSA decided to shut down the facility and deputy administrator Ray Kline approved a plan to divide its work among four regions.
As soon as the three new motor pools are in operation, the Navy Yard staff will be reduced to four people responsible for preparation work on new cars and the disposal of vehicles being removed from the fleet.
In Arlington, the new motor pool will be located in a Pentagon parking lot between Shirley Highway and Army-Navy Drive.
In Prince George's County, the new facility will be located on federal property in Suitland, adjacent to the Census Bureau's headquarters.
In Montgomery County, arrangements with the U.S. Postal Service to put the facility on a portion of its property on Arlington Road in Bethesda have fallen through. GSA plans to begin advertising May 15 commercially for a 4,000 square foot garage-type building.
Blaeuer said that he would order commercial newspaper advertising to be used for the first time to solicit bids on the repair contracts.
When the Bladensburg motor pool opened, four local firms were among the 10 bidders on the five contracts. Two of them--Bill's Sunoco and Truck Sales Inc.--won general repair contracts.
"That's exactly what we wanted to happen," Irwin said