Want a helicopter? The Butler County sheriff has one for sale

The Butler County Sheriff's Office helicopter takes off from Middletown Regional Airport / Hook field Wednesday, August 26, 2020 in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
The Butler County Sheriff's Office helicopter takes off from Middletown Regional Airport / Hook field Wednesday, August 26, 2020 in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Commissioners balk at plan to have it on auction site, thinking a better deal can be found elsewhere.

The Butler County sheriff was hoping to sell a 2006 helicopter on GovDeals but the commissioners say they think they can get a better deal elsewhere.

Recently, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones asked the commissioners to approve a resolution selling a 2006 Robinson R-44 Raven II helicopter on the GovDeals auction, the estimated value was $100,000. Commissioner Don Dixon balked at the plan and asked if they didn’t get a decent offer if they could cancel the sale.

“I believe through the auction on GovDeals it’s a very quick auction you have so many minutes to approve it and accept it, so I don’t believe there would be time to come back to the board on this,” County Administrator Judi Boyko told him.

The sheriff has a request for proposals out to buy a new helicopter and the sale proceeds would help offset the cost. Chief Anthony Dwyer told the Journal-News a new chopper will cost in the neighborhood of $500,000 to $600,000.

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“We should consider listing this with a broker that handles aircraft,” Dixon said. “This $100,000 to me seems way under valued.”

Dwyer said they did their due diligence and have been working with the marketing division of GovDeals that deals with higher ticket items to dispose of the helicopter and are waiting to see if this is acceptable to the commissioners.

He said they have been setting money aside from drug seizures to help pay for the “new bird” which is one of two helicopters in their vehicle fleet.

“Every year we’ve been setting money aside to prepare for the future,” Dwyer said. “You try and hit the sweet spot of when the craft has good value, it’s not brand new, it still has functional hours on it. There’s a tipping point when the value starts to decrease where you can kind of peak, to get the best value out of the used one to apply to a new one.”

He said when the helicopter eventually sells they hope to get $250,000 to $300,000 in an auction setting and general fund dollars shouldn’t be necessary.