With hundreds of items up for bid, Guadalupe County wants residents to come on out, or sit at home, and help clear the county’s shelves.
This weekend, the county will hold its annual surplus auction. County departments pooled their used, unwanted items for sale through a live auction with bidders also given the opportunity to bid online.
All are welcome at the come to the auction that starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday at 2605 N. Guadalupe St.. The auction usually generates pretty decent participation from the community, Guadalupe County Judge Kyle Kutscher said.
“They come buy it because they can use it. The money goes back to the county and we are able to buy things we need,” he said. “We definitely encourage people to come to the auction.”
There are very specific rules by which the county has to abide for the auction as outlined in the Texas Local Government Code, Auditor Kristen Klein said. The county has to periodically sell off surplus or salvaged property by competitive bid, she said.
Most all fixed asset items of value no longer in use have to be properly sold, but that excludes items that normally would be trashed after use. Items that don’t sell, get destroyed, Klein said.
“If we put it out for sale and it doesn’t get sold, the commissioners court has authorized us to pitch it,” she said. “Because surprise, surprise, who’s going to want a chair with three legs when it used to have four?”
Seized and forfeited items also will hit the auction block, said Administrative Lt. Javier Luna of the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office and other law enforcement entities in the county will get to sell items seized in criminal investigations and taken through the asset forfeiture process. Proceeds from items acquired through ill-gotten gains go back into the county’s budget, Luna said.
“It can be items seized from a narcotics case like electronics, vehicles and anything inside those vehicles, homes acquired through elicit funds,” he said. “As long as we can prove it, that becomes our property.”
Firearms are not a part of the auction, Luna said. He believes the GCSO hasn’t the authority or licensing to sell such items so they are handled in a different manner. This is his first time being involved in coordination of the auction, Luna said, so he is unsure how much an average take is for the county.
“Obviously, that would fluctuate depending on how many vehicles, what kinds of things were seized,” he said.
John Sisk, owner, operator and auctioneer of John Sisk Auctioneer Inc., has been in the business of calling auctions since the early 1980s. He and his company get around, moving merchandise for many government agencies, he said.
“We do them for the city of Corpus Christi. We sell for police departments. The sell after we do Guadalupe County is for three police departments in Robstown, Odem and Driscoll,” Sisk said. “We do real estate, estate sales. You name it, we sell it.”
He has a saying he likes to utter: “Have gavel, will travel,” Sisk said.
He started auctioneering for city of Seguin sales years ago and then started doing it for the county in 1993, Sisk said. He’s seen sales totals fluctuate a bit. The county does pretty well at its sales, though, Sisk said.
“Last year we did about $164,000 I think there for the county and all their surplus stuff so it puts a little money back in their bank,” he said. “That’s a good number.”
Big ticket items on the county’s list are the vehicles. There are multiple patrol vehicles the sheriff’s office no longer uses.
The road and bridge department has equipment and vehicles to unload. A search of the list includes electronics, pocket knives, clothes, cologne, tools and much more.
Each year, the Guadalupe County and Sheriff’s Annual Surplus Auction draws significant crowds of people on the hunt for a good buy. He expects no less this year, Sisk said.
“It’s exciting. It’s fun to go to,” he said. “You can pick up some bargains at auctions. People like to come to it.”
To hit up the auction online, visit www.siskauction.com . Viewing will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday.