Sullivan County to auction pieces of surplus property

J. H. Osborne • Jun 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — More than 60 vehicles — including dump trucks, buses, police cruisers and other sedans, one boat, and a coroner’s van — will go on the auction block Saturday as Sullivan County liquidates more than 700 pieces of surplus property.

Making up the bulk of items for the public sale is a wide variety of office, school and food service equipment, including eight pianos, numerous file cabinets, commercial-grade cookware and serve ware, wooden lockers, four infant-sized CPR demonstration mannequins, and an automotive frame straightener.

It’s the first surplus auction held by the county in at least two years, County Purchasing Agent Nelda Fleenor said Thursday.

Most of the trucks, cars and buses are from county departments, Fleenor said. None are seized items, although the boat, a 1973 camper and a sport utility vehicle came to be in the county’s auction after being “abandoned” at county-operated Observation Knob Park a couple of years ago.

“There’s a legal process we went through on those to get permission to sell them,” Fleenor said. “And working with the county clerk’s office, it’s possible for a purchaser to obtain titles for them.”

The item lineup for the sale appears to include at least three of the five pieces of Sullivan County Highway Department property some county officials wanted to give to the Central American city of Siguatepeque, Honduras, earlier this year.

Three dump trucks, with unit numbers matching items proposed for gifting to Siguatepeque, were among vehicles lined up for the auction as of Thursday.

Last month, the Sullivan County Commission rejected the plan that would have given the old county highway equipment to the foreign city.

The proposal needed 13 votes for approval. It got 10.

Sullivan County’s surplus auction, open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Sullivan Central High School, off Interstate 81 at Exit 66.

The gates open at 9 a.m. for registration and viewing.

“All bidders must be registered and have a bidder’s number that we’ve issued to them,” Fleenor said. “Registration is just giving us their name and address. And the bidder’s number is just a slip of paper they hold up if they want to bid on an item.”

Payment, in the form of cash or in-state check, is due by close of the auction for all purchases.

“We cannot accept out-of-state checks,” Fleenor said. “We advise all buyers to take their purchases with them the day of the sale. We cannot guarantee the security of any items left here afterward.”

Handouts featuring a complete list of items to be sold will be available to auction attendees Saturday morning, Fleenor said.

Items will be auctioned in as close to numeric order as possible, beginning with the vehicles in the front parking lot of the school, Fleenor said.

The auction will then move to the school’s vocational wing area, where the rest of the items to be sold are located.

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