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Gainesville gets ready for auction
Surplus property sold via the Web
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Gainesville is cleaning out its closets.

As they do every year, officials from city departments are planning to auction off and donate their surplus property. Each department has taken inventory of its property and decided which assets have served the department beyond their use.

Beverley Williams, Gainesville’s accounting manager, will present the list of auction-worthy items to the City Council at its work session this morning.

The list includes a number of computers, cleaning appliances, vehicles and tools used by the various city departments.

If the City Council declares these items "surplus property," then they are eligible to be donated or auctioned off at, said Gainesville’s Chief Financial Officer Melody Marlowe.

Some of the property is donated to agencies supported by the city, like the school system, or to other governments that might be able to use the property. is a Web site that specializes in the sale of government property. Marlowe said the city has been using the Web site for the past two years to auction off its unneeded property.

"People who shop for those kinds of things know to go there," Marlowe said. "It operates just like eBay."

Since the city started using the Web site, its sale of surplus assets has nearly doubled, Marlowe said. "It has been great."

When an item sells, the profits go into the fund of the department that owned the item.

"If it’s a public utilities truck, then that would go back into the public utilities’ operating fund," Marlowe said.

There are some items that can bring in a lot of revenue, but Marlowe does not expect the auction to be a money making venture.

"Government property gets worn out before we dispose of it," Marlowe said. "It’ll get passed on from department to department and other agencies."

"Typically, it’s pretty much garbage," Marlowe said.

The City Council will discuss the items to be auctioned at its 9 a.m. work session today.