Saturday, items at the Annual State Surplus Property Auction will be sold to the highest bidder.
Bill Beard is one of the auction’s officers. He says this year, there are some unusual items.
“The stump digger. It is really bizarre. Paddle boats, of course, are always bizarre. They make wonderful lawn ornaments, but this year- they float!” Beard said.
Beard says 60 percent of the vehicles come from the Agency of Transportation, and 15-20 percent come from public safety. The rest, he says, are from various state agencies.
The auction is also a bit different from more traditional auctions.
“We allow people to get in the vehicles, start them up, listen to them run. And we try to be very honest and upfront about what’s wrong with them,” Beard said.
The money raised from the auction goes back to the agencies that provided the vehicles or equipment.
“Rather than putting money into a vehicle that’s gonna break down again, let’s get rid of it while there’s still value, replace it at a less cost to the taxpayer, because they have this money that’s come into the auction to replace it. So it’s a win-win,” Beard said.
Beard says he expects 400-500 people from the Northeast to attend, and that means a lot of bids.
“Five years ago, if we did $500,000 in an auction, we thought we’d be doing pretty good. Now it’s up to $1,000,000,” Beard said.
If you don’t have a lot of cash to burn, that’s not necessarily a problem.
“Everything is sold. Seven or eight years ago, we sold a vehicle for $5. And that’s about what it was worth,” Beard said.
If you want to get a look for yourself, you can preview the items for auction Friday from 11 am to 3 pm and Saturday at 8 am; the auction begins at 10 am at the Agency of Transportation garage in Berlin.