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Councilman wants Pittsburgh to auction surplus items on Internet

Public assets such as CPR training mannequins, a boxing ring, school buses, an Imperial metal revolver, a 75-foot aerial fire truck and an old police car are all things that can now be purchased in one consolidated online marketplace.

But Pittsburgh hasn’t been participating in that marketplace and may not be getting as much money as it could from the sale of unused public property.

Councilman Dan Gilman estimates the city is losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional revenue each year by using an “antiquated” auctioning system for surplus items.

Mr. Gilman said the city isn’t appealing to a wide enough market because it follows traditional methods of auctioning off old assets. He suggested the city submit a request for proposals from businesses specializing in auctioning government assets online.

“If we [auctioned online], items would be selling year round,” he said. “There would not have to be all this time and planning for a once- or twice-a-year event.”

Popular auction website GovDeals.com provides an online marketplace for government agencies to auction surplus items. The company has 6,547 government agencies advertising items on the website, 70 of which are in Pennsylvania.


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