One county’s junk is a bargain for others

Indian River County is having a garage sale, and the public is invited to bid on hundreds of items – most of which don’t work.

A seven-page list of roughly 300 surplus items was included in the agenda for Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting. A staff memo notes that the items will be sold through an online auction, or during a live auction set for Dec. 2 at the sheriff’s compound. Any money collected from the auctions will be returned to the accounts used to buy those items.

What’s available? About a dozen vehicles, mostly pickup trucks. The oldest dates to 1996, while there are five vehicles made in 2006. All but three are in working condition.

The most abundant item on the list is what’s known as an MSA-PACK Breathing Apparatus, of which there are about 100 available. It’s typically used by firefighters, but also applies to search and rescue, toxic detection and other scenarios. It also needs periodic re-charging. The tool to do that costs about $150 online.

County Administrator Jason Brown explained that industry standards had changed for the masks. The county bought new ones that conform to the new standards.

As for the rest, “This is the stuff we can’t use anymore,” Brown added.

So what does work among the county’s surplus items? Eight of the vehicles, among them a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria. There’s also an aluminum shed, though hauling that item home might pose a challenge given its dimensions: 10 feet wide and 12 feet long.

Among the survivors of early digital age, there are three TV/VHS combosand they work. The difficult part will be finding VHS tapes to use with them. From the blessings in disguise category, there’s a 4-inch “scum pump” that is also inoperable.

One page listed more than 40 items. Only a 20-inch computer monitor and a tape drive were in working condition. All eight Mastermeter Hand Helds – a tool employees use to read meters or for parking enforcement- no longer work.

There are a few cell phones, one an iPhone. It’s unclear whether they work. In this case, the column revealing that information is non-specific. It reads Y/N.

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