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On city's auction block: Cars, equipment, even a garbage truck

Wednesday - September 24, 2014
Written By: Lori Monsewicz - CantonRep.com staff writer
Frustrated enough with your trash service that you’re willing to buy your own garbage truck? Here’s your chance.

The city is putting a garbage truck and more than 100 other vehicles from its impound lot on the auction block Saturday morning.

The city auctions about 400 cars a year from its impound lot, “plus whatever equipment the city has that’s too old or worn-out,” said Jim Gill, auctioneer for Russ Kiko Associates, which conducts the city’s auctions about four times a year. “Each sale has about 110 or 120 cars, including their own property.”

About $300,000 a year goes back into the fund for the respective city departments that had purchased the equipment, said Randall Dublikar, director of purchasing for Canton.

Dublikar said the March auction raised $73,122; the one in June, $72,000.

“It depends on what’s there (on the auction block), but it’s pretty consistent,” he said. “It’s one of those things where it’s good for the city, obviously, to be able to sell those assets that are no longer needed by us.

The auctions could change next year, however, as city officials look into placing the items up for bid in an online auction to “broaden our base,” Dublikar said.

Up to this point, the police department has benefited most from auction proceeds.

“A majority of the auction items are impound-lot vehicles, so those go back into the police funds. The (remainder) goes back into the department’s fund that had originally purchased whatever it was that we were selling,” Dublikar said.

Some vehicles that are sold work just fine, according to Gill.

“Most of the vehicles are impounded vehicles that people who own them felt the bill was higher than what the car was worth,” Gill said. “They don’t bother to pay the bill to take the car back. The city has the title put in under a salvage title and then sells it off.”

And some of those people try to buy their own vehicles back.

For other vehicles, private citizens, contractor and representatives from other cities are often buyers. “Junk yards will buy them for parts, too, because maybe a truck has some good hydraulics or a transmission they need,” he said.

Other cities may also be in the market for dump trucks, garbage trucks or even Vactor trucks, which are used to clean out ditches.

“These trucks are kind of unique because they’re very expensive when you get them,” Gill said. “There might be a little town interested in a ditch-cleaning truck like that.”

Gill said he also sees campers, boats, motorcycles and four-wheelers. But there’s more on this auction’s block than vehicles. Computers and other office equipment, jewelry, big-screen TVs, tools and even items forfeited to the city via a drug raid frequently wind up at the auction. Anyone interested in seeing what’s for sale in Saturday’s auction is invited to the “preview” today, Gill said. The auction itself will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Canton City Service Center, 2436 30th St. NE. 

Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or lori.monsewicz@cantonrep.com.