City auctions surplus equipment

Outdated equipment and vehicles that had accumulated for several years were disposed of Thursday in an auction of surplus property owned by the city of Benton.

Various vehicles, outdated computer equipment, power tools and electronics had reached the end of their useful life, city officials said. As a result, an auction was planned to dispose of the inventory.

Mayor David Mattingly described the process used to make the decision to auction the property.

"Whenever the city accumulates equipment such as cars, trucks, computer equipment, filing cabinets, etc., which require being replaced, as defined by the department heads, a formal process must be followed to remove 'ownership' of this equipment from the city’s asset register," he said.

"In my three-plus years in office, council has chosen to use an auction to recover some value, while giving members of the public an opportunity to obtain an item, which still might have some usefulness. The only other alternative we have used is to give it away to other communities or individuals who have expressed interest and have a use for the item, which also requires council action."

Property from Benton Utilities, the fire department and the city resulted in more than 300 items to be up for bids.

David Stafford of Stafford Auctions conducted the sale. He said it was a successful event, with more than $80,000 collected. The highest bid came from the sale of a boom truck for $33,500.

Mattingly said he was pleased with the results of the sale.

"I think the auction went well and I believe we will continue to use this method of disposing of excess equipment on an annual basis," he said.