Officials eye online surplus sales

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Company would get percentage of profit

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY - Perry County commissioners tabled at a regular meeting June 1 an offer by SRI Inc. representative Jeff Kemper to sell the county's surplus vehicles.

"We have been doing your tax sales the last few years," Kemper said of his Indianapolis-based company. "We also help counties unload surplus properties, and we do school corporations, too."

He explained his company lists items for sale on an Internet site, and takes a percentage of any profit realized.

Cass County had a couple of surplus pickup trucks and tractors, he told the commissioners, for which they hoped to get $25,000. His company got $70,000 for them.

"There's a market for all that stuff," Kemper said, "maybe now more than ever."

County Auditor Connie Berger reminded the commissioners the county tried to sell an ambulance last year by seeking sealed bids, but received none. She also said two Ford Crown Victorias were sold last year for $420 each. Depending on their age and condition, Kemper said, those generally sell for $12,000 to $14,000.

He said the online bidding service is similar to the eBay auction site, with payments collected within five days of a sale through the PayPal service used there or by certified check.

The commissioners were ready to let Kemper sell the county's surplus items, but County Highway Superintendent Ed Feix had some trucks he wanted to sell, and had already received several inquiries.

"He'd like to do those under sealed bid," Berger said.

Fortwendel said he'd like to talk to Feix before signing the one-year contract Kemper offered. "I'm all for giving him the ambulance and Bob's cars," Fortwendel said, referring to surplus vehicles Sheriff Bob Glenn wants to dispose of.

In response to a question from the sheriff, Kemper said the county sets prices for vehicles, but noted, "our guys know the market."

In other business, the commissioners reappointed Dave Ward to a new four-year term on the airport authority. They also named Don Sherry to fulfill the remainder of a term previously held by Dale Groves on a common construction wage committee for work at Branchville Correctional Facility. The term will expire Dec. 31.