Berlin, Vt. - Trucks on the cheap. It's "everything must go" at Vermont's 2017 Surplus Auction.
In the market for a new-to-you truck, or kayak, or giant forklift? Then this is the place for you. "The auctioneer will start, do I hear $10 thousand for this, dead silence, do I hear $5 thousand for this, dead silence. Who will give me $2 thousand, then we start and off it goes," explained Bill Beard. For 16 years Beard has helped coordinate and run the State Surplus Auction. 2017 features more than 240 items, doubling last year's number.
"Any state property goes through surplus property at the end of its life. So either it has value or it doesn't. If it's to the point it doesn't, it gets recycled or thrown away, but if it has value it goes through this program," stated Sarah Grenier. She's Vermont's Surplus Property Assistant Manager. This will be her first year at the auction. From old police cruisers, to heavy equipment, to parts, she says there's something for everyone, "This is a variety of different departments and agencies coming together and bringing their surplus items to the auction. We have to coordinate all of that, make sure it's a viable piece of equipment or vehicle for sale."
And those items are neatly packed into the parking lot of VTrans' Central Garage in Berlin. The two say nearly 400 bidders are expected to turn out Saturday. From Canaan to Bennington. To Quebec, Maine, New Hampshire, New York State, even Connecticut, says Beard. All because groups from these places can find value in Berlin.
Beard explains the Auction is a staple in Vermont. A sign that spring is here. But more importantly, it's a way to recover tax payer dollars. "We're recuperating some of the money back, as well as offering tax payers a fairly good deal in some cases on some items they may find hard to get otherwise," said Grenier, explaining the Auction continues the money-cycle.
Even if you don't bid, you're in for a good time. "Some people come just to watch the circus, because it is a circus, and we have a lot of fun," he said.
The two expect to "turn" more than $1 million during the Auction. Bidders can preview the items Friday from 11:00 to 3:00 and again on Auction day.
Bidding starts Saturday at 10 AM.
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