Need a car? City auction has a lot

By Thomas Wilson
star staff

  City of Elizabethton officials hope confiscated cars and used police cruisers planned for auction later this year will add some dollars to the city's general fund.
  The city government expects to sell off more than 30 vehicles and several pieces of office equipment at auction later this year. Elizabethton Police Department Sgt. Danny Hilbert said auction items include vehicles confiscated from persons convicted for driving under the influence and driving on revoked license offenses during the past year.
  "Last year we had about 17 vehicles," Hilbert said. "This year we have 26 plus what police department vehicles we plan to auction."
  Vehicles include several 1980s and 1990s model sedans and seven trucks. Two of the vehicles are listed as wrecked.
  The city will auction five sedans previously used as police cruisers for patrol officers. The police vehicles include 1995, 1997, and 1999 models and two 1996 models. The 1997 and 1999 vehicles have been wrecked, according to the auction information.
  Hilbert said the department removed all police equipment such as radios, emergency signals, and containment hardware. He also said the vehicles would have some parts removed to supply fleet vehicles still active.
  "That saves us a lot of money down the road," Hilbert said.
  City Council funded the purchase of five new police cruisers in the city's 2005 budget. Revenues from the sale of police vehicles go into the city's general fund. Money made from the sale of police vehicles is remitted to the state government with the city keeping a portion for auction and vehicle storage costs.
  Another big-ticket item expected to draw bidders and dollars is a water pumping truck of the Elizabethton Fire Department.
  The 1979 model pumping truck holds 500 gallons of water in storage. The truck pumping system can disperse water at a rate of 750 gallons a minute.
  The truck presently sits in service as one of three EFD vehicles at Fire Station 2 on West G Street. The city fire department took delivery of a new water pumping truck earlier this year.
  Other items scheduled for auction include 10 computers from the public library, three desk calculators, 11 teleconference microphones, one Epson printer, an electric typewriter, various personal computer components and accessories as well as some tools and telephone equipment.
  The total gross receipts from the city's last auction held in November 2003 only amounted to little over $4,800.
  Elizabethton City Council will determine whether to approve the auction and the bidding process at its meeting on Thursday night. The auction date will be set after the city receives bids and the council accepts a qualified bidder.