Auctions help district clear space

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An Ohio man packed up his tools, hopped on a Greyhound bus and traveled all the way to Augusta to repair an old car no longer running and no longer needed by the Richmond County school system.

"I had to ask, 'Are there no used cars in Ohio?' " said Benton Starks, the director of maintenance and facilities.

The man purchased the car through GovDeals, an online auction site in which government agencies sell surplus items.

"People will bid on things, I guarantee, if you set out in front of your driveway no one would look twice at," Mr. Starks said. "It's a mystery."

He hopes people continue bidding because the school system needs to sell the surplus items that have collected in its vacant properties so the land can be sold. The school board is in the process of selling the properties to balance this year's budget.

On Friday, Joshua Dillard, a client services representative from GovDeals, came to Augusta to assist with the items. Normally, the school system posts the items online for auction, but Crystal Lynch, the assistant director of purchasing and inventory control, requested help because of the sheer volume of items that need to be unloaded.

"It's probably 10 or 15 classrooms full of stuff," Mr. Starks said. "Some of it's stuff from the '60s and '70s."

Most of it is filing cabinets and old student desks, he said. If no one buys the items, they might be stripped for scrap metal.

Mr. Starks said old computers have been sold by the pound. The buyer shipped them to China for spare parts and to make low-end television sets.

Someone from North Carolina bought restaurant equipment, and people from California have been buying old school buses.

Mr. Dillard said old buses, ambulances and fire trucks are often shipped to places such as Guatemala and the Bahamas. In this country alone, the Web site has 146,000 registered bidders, but it also has many international bidders.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

ONLINE AUCTION


To purchase surplus items from the school system, go to www.GovDeals.com.

Comments (7) Add comment
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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 10/11/08 - 05:23 am
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All government entities need

All government entities need to take heed. There's no need to store old or out of date items. As the "free" tax money becomes more scarce, it's more important to know this.

fran
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fran 10/11/08 - 08:26 am
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I bet there is some beautiful

I bet there is some beautiful wood on the floor of the old Floyd Graham building in Hephzibah.

NEone
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NEone 10/11/08 - 10:39 am
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One man's trash...

One man's trash...

tchnga
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tchnga 10/11/08 - 12:13 pm
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I agree fran...everytime I

I agree fran...everytime I drive by I think about how much fun I had in elementary school and almost cry when I see how run down the builiding is

pizzato
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pizzato 10/11/08 - 07:36 pm
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The computers go to China to

The computers go to China to be stripped of the gold contacts by children using a leaching process in the yanghtzee (sp) river.
There are no old computer leachers they usually die off in their 20's.
Check into Phoenix computers in Warrenville and see what the Government does when they want their computers back.

ZenoElia
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ZenoElia 10/12/08 - 04:20 am
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Thanks AC for posting the

Thanks AC for posting the auction sales info. And PT, I can't actually believe I agree with your 6:23 post. I suppose it was benign enough to be possible. Now I'm off to search for some old hardwood.

ZenoElia
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ZenoElia 10/12/08 - 05:11 am
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Do we have items listed for

Do we have items listed for this site? I could not find a Richmond County auction when searching the govdeals website. Not much help if the items are not listed.

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