Gov. Phil Bryant on Tuesday approved the sale of the state's Cessna Citation V Ultra jet for $2 million. He has asked the Legislature to direct proceeds of the sale to the Mississippi Highway Patrol for the purchase of 78 new trooper vehicles.
Gov. Bryant directed the sale of the jet in his Fiscal Year 2013 Executive Budget Recommendation, saying the state did not need two planes and that Mississippi's King Air 350 was adequate for statewide travel.
"I am pleased that we have turned what was a non-essential expense into much-needed funding that can be directed to a priority area such as the Mississippi Highway Patrol," said Gov. Bryant.
"More than 100 trooper vehicles have in excess of 100,000 miles on them. These high mileage vehicles cost the state more in maintenance than low mileage vehicles, and an older vehicle that does not function optimally can jeopardize the safety of the trooper who drives it.
"According to the Department of Public Safety, the funds from the jet sale can purchase 78 new, fully-equipped vehicles for state troopers. Our state troopers provide a valuable service to the citizens of Mississippi, and we should protect those who protect us."
Clayton Leasing, Inc. of Houston, Miss., purchased the jet.
The state purchased the Citation in 2005 for $3.6 million through a lease-purchase program. The first quarter of 2012 Base Price values given by the Aircraft Value Reference Book was $1.7 million for wholesale pricing and $1.9 million for retail pricing.
The Department of Finance and Administration operates the state's planes through its Office of Air Transport Services. DFA has eliminated $566,000 in recurring expenses associated with the Citation from the air transport office's annual budget.
In February, DFA announced that it would accept bids for the jet at the direction of Gov. Bryant. The agency opened bids on March 6 in accordance with procedures set forth and approved by the State Public Procurement Review Board.