Greg Woodlief says Columbia County's Procurement Department is planning to sell some "bling" over the Internet to help fund the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
There will be bracelets, rings, pendants, watches and golf clubs posted on the Web site www.govdeals.com - a site that allows the public to bid on government surplus items.
All of the jewelry and five sets of golf clubs were seized by the sheriff's office during drug raids and from other illegal operations busted by officers. The loot includes 16 watches, several of which bear the Rolex name.
"We were going to go to a pawn shop somewhere in Columbia County, hoping that they would give us a real quick authenticity check," said Woodlief, the county's procurement director. "... We don't want to mislead anybody. If we know they are fake, we want to say they are fake."
Initial inspections led Woodlief and county warehouse foreman Richard Garcia to believe some of the watches are real Rolex products, while others are not.
Because all the jewelry and five sets of golf clubs were seized by the sheriff's office, all money raised through the sale will go back to sheriff's office coffers.
"(The money) will go back to the sheriff's office to help fund his operation," Woodlief said. "Of course, whatever we bring in helps reduce taxpayers' funds. So we want to do the best that we can."
Woodlief said the county has used www.govdeals.com to sell surplus items for a year-and-a-half. Before using the Web site, county departments would have saved up surplus items to be sold at the annual vehicle auction, which is a live event.
"But typically, people that come out for vehicle auctions come out to buy vehicles, not jewelry," Woodlief said. "So the turnout may not have been as great as hopefully we'll see on this Web site."
Each month, Garcia, who oversees the county's surplus sales, posts surplus items on the Web site.
"That could be furniture, cars, etc.," Woodlief said, adding that a confiscated RV was recently sold for $5,300.
Items such as desks, tables, shelving and other equipment from the former Gibbs Library location that were not needed in the new Columbia County library in Evans were recently sold on the govdeals.com Web site. If the site or another way to sell the surplus equipment were not available, Woodlief said the items would have been sold along with the Gibbs Library building on Belair Road and the new owner most likely would have thrown much of it away.
"We sold everything at Gibbs," said Garcia, adding that one old typewriter is the only item that didn't sell. The sale of the 61 lots from the library, some of which included entire sets of tables and chairs or bookcases and shelving, raised nearly $4,500 from buyers from Georgia, Tennessee, New York and Alabama.
Woodlief said people will be able to view the jewelry and golf clubs that will be posted on govdeals.com most easily by first visiting Columbia County's official Web site, www.columbiacountyga.gov. They can then go to the heading "Online Services" and the title "Auctions - Surplus Sales," which will direct visitors to the govdeals.com bid site.
Registration is required to place a bid on the site, Woodlief said, adding that it can take a couple of days for a new buyer to receive a password. Once registered, a visitor can receive e-mails alerting them to jewelry auctions.
The auctions should be open at the beginning of this week and will not be closed until county commissioners officially approve the surplus items to be sold on the Web site. The commissioners are slated to approve the surplus sale, which has already received preliminary approval in a committee meeting, at a June 20 meeting.
Bids will be taken, but the auctions will not close until after that final commission approval. The auction will continue another 10 days after the expected June 20 approval, Garcia said.
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