GSA Delivers Barges With Aplomb

A bresting barge nestled up against the U.S.S. Saratoga.
A bresting barge nestled up against the U.S.S. Saratoga.

On August 8, I was directed by the Property Center of Expertise to enter two ex-U.S.S. Sarasota bresting barges into GSAXcess for a two-day, expedited screening. The U.S. Navy was moving the U.S.S. Sarasota to a new location and needed to quickly get rid of the barges. Three days later, both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the State of Massachusetts, requested the barges, which was a welcomed coincidence. The FWS  needed a barge to create an artificial island in Connecticut, and the State of Massachusetts requested one for the Lightship Museum, a non-profit museum in Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina, which needed one to replace a barge that was in a state of deterioration.

Usually, when a federal agency and state agency request the same excess item of limited quantity, the needs of the federal agency take precedence over the needs of the state agency. However, since the FWS required only one barge for its project, Richard Creal, the GSA Property Allocator for vessels greater than fifty-feet, allocated the remaining barge to the Lightship Museum. It truly was a win-win outcome — one barge for the FWS and American taxpayers, and one for the Lightship Museum and its visitors.