Preckwinkle: Old Property Means New Revenue for County

From an old piano to a pair of meat slicers, Cook County is pursuing new ways to generate revenue by selling obsolete and occasionally odd property via an online auction site.

“These items are helping the county bring in money instead of collecting dust in a warehouse,” Preckwinkle said. “By auctioning unused property, we are reducing waste, creating new revenue and encouraging fiscal responsibility. We will continue pushing for innovative ways to create revenue without further burdening Cook County taxpayers.”

Whether it’s smaller items like nursery chairs or big-ticket items like dump trucks, auctioning surplus equipment provides new funds and allows the County to maximize available storage space. Managed by the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer and populated with items identified by the County’s Bureau of Administration and Sheriff’s Office, the online auction sells antiquated and underutilized assets to national and international marketplaces. In three months, the County has already auctioned off nearly $100,000 of property.

The County has had a salvage division for some time which previously focused on recycling, re-use or disposal of equipment and materials no longer needed by different County departments. Approximately two years ago, the Preckwinkle administration began looking into the idea of selling, through auction, surplus equipment and material. Much of the equipment and material was stored in the County’s warehouse or, in the case of vehicles, was sitting unused in garages or maintenance yards throughout the County. Communications were then sent to County departments to identify surplus property for the auction.

Unique items that have been sold or are available for sale include a pool table, mirrors, hutches, dressers, metal cots, dump trucks, cars, pick-up trucks and thousands of light bulbs. The Department of Transportation and Highways, Sheriff’s Office, Oak Forest Hospital, Medical Examiner’s Office and Department of Environmental Control have all contributed items to be auctioned.

Interested parties can bid on items at publicsurplus.com or call the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer at (312) 603-5370 for additional information.

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