June 20, 2018
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Zamboni on auction block in Auburn

By Scott Taylor, Sun Journal

AUBURN, Maine — An old city Zamboni, loaders, snowblowers and other surplus city equipment will go on the auction block in October.

Councilors voted 4-3 to schedule the auction to sell the old equipment, with Councilors Tizz Crowley, Belinda Gerry and Leroy Walker voting against it.

The city’s auction is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 27 at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport. Finance Director Jill Eastman said the city plans to use South Portland-based Keenan Auction Co. to sell the equipment, which ranges from surplus bulldozers and an old police cruiser to surplus gun holsters and cobblestone.

Eastman said the auction company provides pre-auction advertising, checks in the items to be sold and arranges the auction, provides on-site security before and after and supervises as the sold equipment is taken away for no charge to the city. Keenan will be paid a commission on each item sold. He estimates his costs at $28,220.

Crowley said that’s where she disagreed. The company needs to make more than $28,220 to break even, meaning the commission charged would likely be higher than $25,000 — the limit on city purchases without going to a formal bid.

“I think Keenan may do a great job, but picking the auctioneer should go out to bid,” she said. “He’s obviously done a great lot of work, but the commission structure is that this will be greater than $25,000 and therefore we need to get bids. That’s my objection to this.”

It was not a problem for other councilors.

“We do have materials that need to be moved,” Councilor Robert Hayes said. “I think they’ve done a good job saying what they intend to do and I’m very confident they will.”

Items on the auction block include a 1991 John Deere dozer, a 1998 GMC sign truck, a 2001 International recycling truck, a Mobark wood chipper, several old trailers, backhoe buckets and dump bodies that no longer fit city vehicles, a sidewalk pavement roller, nonfunctioning snowblowers and riding mowers, three police vehicles and surplus fire equipment.

An old Zamboni ice resurfacer with a spare engine could the biggest draw at the auction, Councilor Hayes said. The machine was used at Ingersoll Ice Arena. It was functional when it was stored, according to city records.

“An auction, especially one that will be well publicized, has to have some items that really will catch some attention throughout the state — or actually, New England,” Hayes said. “This is one of those items.”

City Manager Clinton Deschene said other items were still being added.

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