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What do counties do with surplus property?

Ken Little

All counties in the state are authorized by law to dispose of surplus property, be it personal or real estate, says Pender County Manager Rick Benton.

“The statutes provide for several options, including but not limited to sealed bids, auctions, upset bids and Internet bidding. Certain procedures must be followed under each option,” Benton says.

Pender County and its departments have used all of the options in the past.

“The option used varies, and often depends on such factors as whether it is equipment or real property, the potential market, how many surplus items there are, and so forth,” he says.

New Hanover County, the city of Wilmington and Brunswick County all sell

surplus property on a web site called www.GovDeals.com.

“You can go online and bid and there’s a picture of the item,” said Brunswcik County manager Marty Lawing. “A lot of the local governments use that to sell surplus vehicles and property,” he says.

Using the Internet is less costly than holding an auction, Lawing adds.

“You get a lot more for the vehicles using GovDeals.com. We’ve been real pleased with it.”

The Brunswick County Computer Services Department oversees the transactions for surplus property like office equipment, computers and vehicles.

“They report to me the prices they get for the items is better than with the auction,” Lawing says.

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