As the saying goes, "One man's trash is another's man's treasure."
The public will have an opportunity to test the truth of that statement beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, when the Kenai Peninsula Borough hosts a public outcry auction of more than 5,500 surplus items.
"The estimated value is pretty subjective," said Mark Fowler, the borough's purchasing and materials manager. In particular, Fowler noted the school district's effort to update computers.
"The borough doesn't really perceive this as an investment recovery effort," Fowler said. "For the most part, we see this as an opportunity to let the public capitalize on some of the borough's surplus items at a very reasonable price."
As in past auctions, some items are grouped in pallets, while others are auctioned separately.
"We have a lot of single items. Some of the larger printers, copiers, things of that nature, we tend to separate those," Fowler said.
He compared that to the way computers are handled.
"We've found in the past that whether there's one computer or a pallet of computers, it's probably most cost effective to sell them as a pallet because they'll all bring in the same $10."
Pallets of computers aren't typically the treasures the public looks for.
"We have some vehicles," Fowler said. "Historically they are always the big sellers."
Borough departments, service areas and the school district were given until Aug. 8 to make their selections from the list, after which the list of remaining items was adjusted and finalized.
Ideal Auction Services of Nikiski won the borough's bid for auctioneering services and will be paid a fee of 11.9 percent of the total sales by the borough.
"We are very happy that the bid came in at a competitive level," said M.J. Orem, spokesperson for Ideal Auction Services. "We feel really terrific that (the borough) allowed us to be such a part of the community."
The list of items can be reviewed at the finance department and school district offices in the Borough Administration Building, 144 N. Binkley in Soldotna.
The public is invited to view the items on Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the fenced-in area behind the administration building. No early bids will be accepted.
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