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Grovetown is using Web site to sell off surplus property

Posted: Sunday, December 26, 2010

Grovetown officials are now using the Internet to dispose of excess vehicles and equipment.


Several out-of-service city vehicles and large pieces of equipment are stowed in a lot near Liberty Park Community Center. Public Works Director Michael Woods said he recently began using to sell surplus vehicles and equipment that could still be useful to someone else.

"We just decided to give it a try," he said.

Woods posted four vehicles -- a 1979 John Deere tractor, a 1979 fire truck, a Chevrolet flatbed dump truck and a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. Three days later, the tractor had 63 bids.

The site allows free registration and bidding.

The auction for the former police car ends at 3 p.m. Monday and the other three auctions end at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Before Woods' appointment as department director in 2006, the city would partner with Columbia County and sell surplus equipment and vehicles at live auctions.

Since the county stopped live auctions and started using the same Web site in 2005, Woods said, Grovetown surplus has been piling up. He's ready to move it out and make some extra revenue for the city.

"It is going to help us out a lot," Woods said.

The system has worked well for Columbia County, said Glenn O'Steen, county procurement manager. Surplus vehicles, tractors and other heavy equipment as well as smaller lots of office equipment and supplies have been sold on the Web site.

Revenue averaging close to $200,000 annually goes back to county coffers from online auction sales of the surplus items, O'Steen said.

"It is a good source of revenue," he said, adding that in the 2009-10 fiscal year, sales from the online auctions brought in a little more than $175,000. "I don't think we'd get that in (a live) auction."

Buyers come from all across the region, O'Steen said. It doesn't cost the county anything because a small buyer's fee from the Web site is passed to the buyer.

The system allows county officials to get surplus items sold more quickly and with much less hassle.

"We've had good success," O'Steen said. "It works great. We've not had any problems. And we've got a lot of repeat buyers."


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