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County uses on-line auction to sell surplus equipment

Getting rid of a few extra pieces of equipment could mean a simple click of the mouse for the McDuffie County government.

Instead of organizing an auction, the county will sell its surplus heavy equipment, vehicles and computer hardware online at a site similar to eBay for local governments. The site is, and the move to sell items there is one that has been in the works some time.

It's a move that will make some room for Public Works Director Chris Pelly. He suggested the online auction to commissioners again at a meeting last month. But County Manager Don Norton thinks it could turn out to be an all-around good idea.

"I'm anxious to give it a try," Mr. Norton said. "What I had read about this, some other counties particularly, and maybe some cities, had very good experience with it that actually generated more revenue than a traditional auction."

Information Technology Director Kelly Evans is glad the county is catching up to the high-tech times.

She said getting rid of old computer parts will be much easier online because she can auction parts as needed instead of waiting to gather enough material for a live auction. That saves storage space as well as time to inventory all the items.

Mrs. Evans said Association County Commissioners of Georgia has endorsed using the site. She said it provides a larger audience, which yields higher buying prices while lowering the total cost of the auction.

Larger counties have already used the site, but it is starting to make its way across the state. For the most part, McDuffie County's department heads are ready to see how the online auction will go because of the time and money it could save.

"It's starting to take on in smaller counties as well because you don't have to do it all at one time," Mrs. Evans said. "Now you can do it as it comes up, and you can go ahead and get it out of there. It's not old by the time you get everything coordinated."

Web posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2006

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