GPD's Non-Profit Program On The Hook For $2,500
GAINESVILLE - An at-risk youth program up the creek because of a leaky boat.
The Gainesville Police Department's BOLD program on the hook for more than $2,000 in boat repairs. The program received a 17-foot boat as a donation, but it needed repairs.
A former employee of the program approved the repairs, sticking the bold program with a bill it hasn't been able to afford.
So far, the BOLD program has been able to pay a little less than half of what they owe to P&J Marine, a boat shop in Gainesville. GPD officials say the employee who took it there for repairs, did so in good faith but it may have ended up being a greater headache for the non-profit.
This is the 17 foot, 1987 fish and ski boat that was donated to the bold program, which is run by the Gainesville Police Department. It's been sitting here at P&J Marine for five months while the program looks to raise the money to pay for $2,500 in repairs on the boat valued at $4,000.
Antravious Bedford, a former life coach for BOLD, brought the boat to P&J for repair in March.
P&J estimated the repairs would cost around $1,500 and Bedford approved the work.
"Bedford realized he got into a situation he couldn't quite handle and was taking it upon himself to start the repairs on this,” said Ben Tobias, GPD spokesman. “He just happened to be the guy that picked up the phone the day that this was donated, so he took it upon himself to do what he thought were the next correct steps in this."
As started work on the boat, the cost got higher, eventually reaching $2,500. GPD officials say no one at the department gave Bedford approval to go ahead with the repairs.
But the BOLD program, not Bedford, will be footing the bill. Tobias said they intend to use the boat for job training.
"That with some of the vocational skills our bold life coaches are teaching that it could be used for that,” said Tobias. “Obviously the Gainesville Police Department has no need for a marine unit or anything like that. So it was hoped that some of those members could use it for job training.”
Tobias says the BOLD program has used no public money to pay down the bill, only donations. An official with the program said bedford charged $500 of the payment to his personal credit card. The BOLD program still owes $1,560 to P&J Marine.
"The BOLD program does realize that there is some extra money that needs to be paid before they can have the boat back. P&J Marine is keeping the boat until it's paid in full of course and what the bold members have done is they've taken it upon themselves to do fundraisers," Tobias said.
Bedford no longer works for BOLD because the grant funds for his position have run out. The program will have a car wash on Saturday to try to pay off the balance, from 8am to noon at the BOLD house on 1019 NW 5th Avenue.
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