State cleans closets

Annual surplus sale prepares for move to a new building

Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2006

It was spring-cleaning time for the state of Alaska last week.

The state Department of Administration held its annual liquidation of state property at the downtown Subport building with closed bidding from Wednesday to Saturday, preparing to move its operations to Lemon Creek this summer. The state is preparing to break ground for a new 5,000-square-foot warehouse off Glacier Highway behind Western Auto, where it will hold its weekly sale of used government items, Property Officer Jeff Campbell said.

The state lease on the Subport from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority will expire on June 30. The state plans to resume its weekly sale on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the new facility beginning in July, Campbell said.

Shelves full of computer monitors, crab pots, an emergency eye wash center, generators, a dentist's chair, and even boxes of unclaimed lost and found items from the state ferries were just some of the items people had the option to bid on in the auction. The notice of successful bids will be mailed on April 7.

"Man, there's lots of cool stuff here," said Paul Tomaro, who was making bids on Friday.

Tomaro said he was most intrigued by the room full of outboard motors and some of the tools and fishing nets. Tomaro's two young sons were along advising him on his bids.

"They're having fun looking at everything - telling me everything that they want," he said.

Some items, such as some of the computer monitors, were bulked together and listed as one item. For the minimum bid of $5 someone could possibly walk away with dozens of outdated and unfashionable cell phones.

"That's how I clean up here," Campbell said. "You get the good with the bad. I have to get rid of everything so I put things together so if people want some of it, and then some just ends up in the dump or it ends up on eBay a lot of the time."

Tomaro said some of the items up for bid aren't in the best condition but found some hot-ticket items, such as the outboard motors.

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"I'm sure that everybody's going to want something here," he said. "There's a few items that are really cool."

Campbell said he is hoping to get rid of as much of the unwanted property as possible before the state moves into the new, smaller facility.

"It will be less than I have here, so it's going to be a little tighter quarters," he said.

Campbell said the people who missed the spring auction will have to wait until next year.

"This is a once a year thing, just spring cleaning to get everything out," he said.

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