City of Kenai cleaning out its closets

Posted: Wednesday, August 04, 2010

An inflatable raft, an iPod, a bongo drum and a four-story fire training building -- those are just a few of the items being sold by the City of Kenai in a sealed bid auction starting next week.

"A lot of the items on our list are outdated computers and computer accessories we've used through the years," said Gus Sandahl, Kenai Police chief.

A number of the items from the police department, like the bongo drum, were found property picked up by seasonal officers and held by the department for a year to see if anyone claimed them, he said.

All in all, the city is trying to get rid of 435 items, said Kayla Feltman, Kenai's public works assistant.

There are also knives and other items seized as parts of investigations that are not needed anymore, Sandahl said.

"If the person who was arrested doesn't come back to claim it," it goes to auction, he said. "We try to contact people to come pick up their items."

There are also 33 bicycles for sale.

"It's a good idea if anyone's bike is missing from their yard to report it to us and see if we have it," Sandahl said.

Rick Koch, Kenai City Manager, said the fire-training building for sale belonged to the University of Alaska. It cost $900,000 to build and sits on a piece of city-owned property at 400 Marathon Road.

"It's one of those once and lifetime opportunities to have a first-class fire training building that cost a ton of money to build in 1983," he said.

The minimum bid for the building is $100,000.

The purchaser can "unbolt it ship it to Zimbabwe or whatever he wants to do," he said.

This is the second year the city has tried to sell the building at auction.

There are also a number of city-owned vehicles being sold, including a couple of old police cars and a 2002 Dodge Intrepid, Feltman said.

But the best thing on the city's for-sale list is a Caterpillar loader, according to Koch.

"I'm an equipment kind of guy so I like that," he said. There is a minimum $20,000 bid on that item.

All of the money from the sale goes back into the city's general fund or airport fund, depending on which city department the item belonged. Last year, the sale made $9,450 in revenue for the city, according to Kenai's Finance Director Terry Eubank.

The City of Kenai's sealed bid auction begins with viewings next weekend from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Another public viewing at the same times will be held the following weekend. Bids must be turned in by Aug. 24 at 5 p.m. Winners will be notified by Aug. 26 and items must be picked up by Sept. 11.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at

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