Sale of surplus DPW equipment in North Smithfield brings in $42K

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – An auction of surplus Department of Public Works equipment held last month brought in $42,387, roughly four times more than similar auctions have garnered in the past according to the town’s finance department.

The town sold around a dozen vehicles, and other items including a snow thrower and leaf blowers in the online auction. Unlike past years, where such events were run in house, the town worked with the company govdeals.com to attract bidders over a two week period.

“We had well above the number of bids we’ve ever had before,” said Asst. Finance Director Jerianne Nunes. “This was very successful for us. In the past, we never made more than $10,000.”

Items sold included a 2020 Ford Explorer, which brought in 74 bids before it sold for $4,300.

“This is equipment that the town no longer needs – vehicles and equipment,” explained Nunes.

Typically held every two years, the events bring in a little extra funding while freeing up space at the Highway Garage. Online bidders were told the items could be viewed at the DPW property at 281 Quaker Highway.

The largest sale from the February auction was for a 2008 Ford-350, which brought in $7,877 after 47 bids. Nunes noted that the online event had the advantage of bringing in far more bidders than in past years, where sealed bids were submitted to the finance department at Town Hall.

“What I’ve seen in the past, until now – we were getting one two, three,” she said of bids.

Nunes noted that govdeals.com provided the service at no cost to the town.

“They get a percentage, but that’s something that the buyers pay in addition to the sale amount,” she explained.

“That’s amazing,” said Town Council President Kimberly Alves.

Twenty items were up for sale, and Nunes noted that all attracted bids.

“This was outstanding,” she said. “They did a great job with it. This was an awesome program for us to get involved in.”

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